INDIANAPOLIS - Jaden Ivey had 22 points and nine rebounds and Eric Hunter Jr. made two back-breaking 3-pointers late in Saturday's second Big Ten Tournament semifinal to help No. 9 Purdue beat seventh-seeded Michigan State 75-70.
The third-seeded Boilermakers (26-7) face No. 24 Iowa (25-9) on Sunday in their first title game appearance since 2018.
A.J. Hoggard finished with 17 points and 10 assists. Gabe Brown scored 16 for the Spartans (22-12), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Michigan State hasn't played in the conference title game since 2019.
When the Spartans cut the deficit to 56-54 on Brown's 3-pointer with 6:37 to play, it looked like they might end that drought.
Instead, Trevion Williams made one of two free throws, Hunter knocked down consecutive 3s, and after Williams made one of two free throws a second time, Hunter scored on a layup to give the Boilermakers a 66-56 lead with 3:31 remaining. They were Hunter's only 3s of the game.
Ivey's breakaway, off-balance layup with 1:50 left rebuilt a 10-point margin but gave Boilermakers fans some consternation when he appeared to land on his tailbone and stayed down briefly. He did not come out.
Michigan State spent the rest of the game futilely playing catch-up in what had largely been a back-and-forth game between two of the conference's perennial powers and the league's longest-tenured coaches.
Hunter finished with 11 points and Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds.
Michigan State: After losing five of their last seven regular-season games, the Spartans rebuilt their confidence and will take some momentum into the NCAA Tournament after nearly blowing a 20-point lead Thursday against Maryland. They beat regular-season co-champ Wisconsin on Friday and challenged perhaps the league's top team until the closing minutes Saturday.
Purdue: The Boilermakers didn't get the conference title they were chasing during the regular season. But now they have a chance to accomplish another goal — winning the conference tourney title. With two wins in two days, they may have locked up a No. 2 seed in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field. A win Sunday would likely make sure of it.
The Boilermakers have been the highest-ranked Big Ten team most of this season, and that's not likely to change now. They've been in the top 10 for a school-record 18 consecutive weeks. A win Sunday would extend that record in Monday's rankings.
Michigan State: Waits for the NCAA Tournament selection committee to announce the field Sunday. Purdue: Will chase its first conference tourney crown since 2009 on Sunday.