CHICAGO – Bronson Koenig thought a game like this was exactly what No. 6 Wisconsin needed.
The Big Ten tournament championship seemed to be slipping away and, with it, a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. Then, in a flash, the Badgers put a stop to that.
Nigel Hayes scored 25 points, Frank Kaminsky added 19 and Wisconsin outscored Michigan State 11-0 in overtime Sunday for an 80-69 victory in the Big Ten tournament championship game.
Koenig scored 18 points as the Badgers (31-3) rallied from 11 points down in the second half.
"I thought it was really good for us to have a game like this where we were behind with seven minutes left," Koenig said. "They kind of thought they had us when we were down 11, but I just kept telling our guys you keep fighting, never give up, and that's what we did. And luckily, we were fortunate enough and came out with a win."
The big comeback gave Wisconsin its third Big Ten tournament title, and the NCAA selection committee rewarded the Badgers with their first No. 1 seed, giving them the top spot in the West. They will face Coastal Carolina on Friday.
"Being the first one seed in the history of Wisconsin, being on a team that set a record here, it'll live on forever," Josh Gasser said. "That's special. We've got to take advantage of it now."
Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine scored 16 points each for Michigan State (23-11).
"I thought we played one of the greatest games we've played through 32-35-36 minutes," coach Tom Izzo said. "And then we made a couple of mistakes, and they made a couple of great shots."
The Spartans were outscored 31-10 over the final 11½ minutes of the game and came up short after winning the tournament last year.
In the first overtime in a Big Ten title game, Hayes and Koenig hit two three-pointers in the first three minutes to give the Badgers a 75-69 lead. Michigan State missed all six shots and committed two turnovers in the extra period.
"We're a resilient bunch," the Badgers' Duje Dukan said. "We've been down in this tournament twice already in the last two games. We didn't panic."