CHICAGO (AP) — Zavier Simpson sparked Michigan’s balanced attack with 10 points on perfect shooting and 11 assists, and the Wolverines picked apart Iowa for a 74-53 victory in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night.
Michigan made 10 3-pointers placed five players in double figures, bouncing back nicely from Saturday’s disappointing loss to rival Michigan State. Ignas Brazdeikis had 15 points, and Jon Teske had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Seeking their third consecutive Big Ten Tournament title, the third-seeded Wolverines (27-5) advanced to the semifinals for the fourth straight year. They will go for their third win against Minnesota this season when they face the surprising Gophers on Saturday.
Luke Garza and Tyler Cook each scored 14 points, but Iowa was ice cold from deep one night after it made 12 3-pointers in an 83-62 victory over Illinois. The Hawkeyes went 1 for 16 from beyond the arc against the Wolverines and shot 36 percent (21 for 59) overall.
Iowa (22-11) held Michigan to 32 percent shooting in a 74-59 win on Feb. 1 in their only meeting of the season. But the Wolverines and coach John Beilein just love this time of year.
Charles Matthews returned from a right ankle injury, and Michigan celebrated with an impressive offensive display. With Simpson calmly directing the show from the point, the Wolverines put away the Hawkeyes with a 15-2 run in the second half.
Brazdeikis and Eli Brooks opened the decisive sequence with 3-pointers. Simpson fed Teske for a jam and then banked a little floater to make it 59-35 with 13:44 remaining.
Simpson got a big ovation when he checked out with 2:49 to go. The 6-foot junior went 4 for 4 from the field and 2 for 2 at the line with just one turnover.
Matthews had five points on 1-for-9 shooting in his first game back after he got hurt against the Spartans on Feb. 24. The Chicago native got a huge ovation when he was introduced with the starting lineup.
Iowa: Jordan Bohannon is going to have to do more if the Hawkeyes are going to go anywhere in the NCAA Tournament. Bohannon, who was averaging 11.7 points coming into the day, was scoreless.
Michigan: Led by Simpson, the Wolverines finished with 24 assists and seven turnovers. Isaiah Livers scored 13 points and Jordan Poole finished with 11.
Iowa waits to see where it’s going in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan edged Minnesota 59-57 on Jan. 22 and topped the Gophers 69-60 on Feb. 21.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap