So Much For No. 1
Ohio State Victory May Deny Michigan Top Spot in Rankings
Columbus, Ohio — Deshaun Thomas had 20 points and scored the first and last baskets in a 16-0 first-half spurt and No. 15 Ohio State beat second-ranked Michigan 56-53 on Sunday, probably denying the Wolverines their first No. 1 ranking in more than 20 years.
After Trey Burke, who led the Wolverines (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) with 15 points, hit a 3-pointer to open the game, the Buckeyes took the lead for good although there were many nervous moments by the finish.
Burke had a shot to tie the game with 17 seconds left, but it rattled around and out.
Lenzelle Smith Jr. then hit two foul shots with 12.7 seconds left and Aaron Craft added two more to seal the outcome for the Buckeyes (13-3, 2-2).
The loss also prevented Michigan from setting a school mark for fastest start. The 1985-86 team had also opened with 16 wins.
Down 21 in the first half, Michigan kept chipping away. The Wolverines switched defenses, causing the Buckeyes problems with matchup zones.
With just over 11 minutes left, Burke had a chance to cut the lead to six points, but Shannon Scott closed fast to block his breakaway layup. At the other end, Thomas made a 3 for an 11-point lead.
No. 22 Michigan St. 66
East Lansing, Mich. — Derrick Nix scored 17 points, including two free throws with a minute left, for Michigan State.
The Spartans (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten) have won three straight and kept the Cornhuskers (9-8, 0-4) from winning their first conference game this season.
Nebraska’s David Rivers had 18 points, Dylan Talley scored 17 and Ray Gallegos added 12 points.
Spartans reserve Adreian Payne scored 14 points and Branden Dawson had 12 points.
The Huskers were without Brandon Ubel, who missed the game with an elbow injury. The 6-foot-10 senior is Nebraska’s leading rebounder and third-leading scorer.
No. 23 Wichita St. 67
Evansville, Ind. — Colt Ryan had 24 points and eight assists and Evansville made seven free throws over the final last 1:25.
The Aces (11-6, 4-1 Missouri Valley Conference) took advantage of a season-high 22 turnovers by Wichita State (15-2, 4-1) to win their fourth straight conference game.
There were 16 lead changes and 13 ties in the game. The Shockers’ biggest lead was five points, while the Aces’ was six points. Evansville had a 27-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Malcolm Armstead had a career-high 21 points for Wichita State.