It was senior day for the Minnesota Gophers and they wanted nothing more than to upset their Big Ten rivals. The 6th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers had other plans, like knocking off rival Minnesota on the Gophers home floor, to win the Big Ten title outright.
Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker combined to score 30 in the first half and the Badgers went on to beat the Gophers 76-63.
The Badgers (27-3, 15-2 Big Ten) not only clinched the Big Ten title outright, but they secured the No. 1 seeding for the league tournament, set for March 11-15 at the United Center in Chicago.
The Badgers ended Minnesota’s 2-game win streak between the two teams in the Twin Cities. The Gophers fell to 6-11 in Big Ten play and 17-13 overall.
Kaminsky had 16 points, five assists and three rebounds in the first half and finished with 25 points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block in 39-plus minutes.
Dekker had 14 points and four rebounds in the first half and finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
Nigel Hayes also added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Badgers.
The Badgers started strong again, hitting 8 of its first 10 field-goal attempts. Wisconsin’s lead reached 36-16 with just under 6 1/2 minutes to play in the first half.
Minnesota closed the gap in the second half with a couple of runs, but each time the Badgers were able to answer.
A larger than normal contingent of Badgers fans made the trip and could be heard all night, screaming their support for the Big Ten champs.