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Dez Wells throws one down during Maryland’s victory over Indiana. (Jonathan Daniels/Getty Images)

Maryland, Michigan State advance in Big Ten tourney

SHARE Maryland, Michigan State advance in Big Ten tourney
SHARE Maryland, Michigan State advance in Big Ten tourney

Maryland was loud and proud in its Big Ten tournament debut, getting big games from stars Dez Wells (22 points) and Melo Trimble (17) and matching a passionate effort from NCAA tourney bubble-dweller Indiana in a 75-69 victory.

The second-seeded Terrapins (27-5) improved to 11-0 in games decided by six points or less, with nine of those wins coming against conference opponents. It has been an eye-opening first season in the Big Ten for a team that has greatly outperformed expectations and is closing hard on at least a No. 3 seed come Selection Sunday.

“We’re used to grinding it out and having to fight for every possession,” Wells said. “This team is battle‑tested.”

The Hoosiers (20-13) battled hard, trading blows with the Terps as Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams combined to score 35, but they were left with the sting of a ninth defeat in the team’s last 14 games.

“I love our team,” said Indiana coach Tom Crean, “and the bottom line is we hope to be playing basketball next week. We hope we get the opportunity to play in that tournament.”

Michigan State 76, Ohio State 67

It hasn’t exactly been a Spartans season to remember, but Tom Izzo’s squad is where most would’ve expected it to be — contending for a Big Ten tourney title — after a dominant performance against the sixth-seeded Buckeyes.

MSU (22-10) got more than enough offense from its best players — Denzel Valentine, Travis Trice and Branden Dawson, who combined for 55 points — and kept OSU’s superstar freshman, D’Angelo Russell, from blowing up. Russell scored 19 but never truly caught fire or made the Spartans sweat down the stretch.

The Buckeyes (23-10) trailed by 16 in the second half and rallied into a five-point deficit, but a dunk and a layup by Dawson ended the suspense. The Spartans will face Maryland in Saturday’s semifinals.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slgreenberg

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