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Michigan clinches Big Ten title; Illinois locked into No. 2 spot

The Wolverines responded in a big way Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Illini will have to wait another year to try to win the Big Ten regular season title.

A dominant win from No. 2 Michigan (19-2, 14-2) over Michigan State on Thursday night officially clinched the conference for the Wolverines, a team the No. 4 Illini (19-6, 15-4) throttled by 23 points in Ann Arbor on Tuesday.

Illinois will be the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament, regardless of Saturday’s outcome against Ohio State. It sets up for a potential rematch with Michigan in the Big Ten title game next Sunday, March 14 in Indianapolis.

For Illinois, second place is the highest finish it has secured in the Big Ten regular season since 2008-09, when the Illini placed second behind Michigan State.

As of today, the Illini are projected as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and have a 23-point road win over the Big Ten regular season champion Wolverines under their belt, quite an impressive resume for Brad Underwood’s squad.