WASHINGTON - Derrick Walton Jr. had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds to carry eighth-seeded Michigan into the Big Ten title game with an 84-77 victory over fourth-seeded Minnesota on Saturday.
Walton had a hand in 18 consecutive Michigan points down the stretch, grabbing the rebound of a Minnesota miss that helped seal it. The Wolverines (23-11) have defeated Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota since their plane skidded off the runway earlier in the week and delayed their arrival in D.C. and will face No. 24 Wisconsin or Northwester in the final Sunday.
Outdueling all-Big Ten first-team point guard Nate Mason, who led the Golden Gophers (24-9) with 23 points, Walton took over the game when big German forward Moe Wagner got into foul trouble and D.J. Wilson didn't have his best. Walton was 8 of 15 from the floor and 10 of 10 from the free throw and also had two steals to go along with just one turnover.