No. 2 Michigan State 78, No. 1 Kentucky 74
With Keith Appling, Gary Harris and Adreian Payne all scoring in double figures for Michigan State, Branden Dawson came up with the biggest basket, tipping in a miss with less than six seconds left to give the Spartans a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday night.
James Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Spartans erupted in delight, with Harris holding up his index finger.
No. 1, indeed.
It was the earliest meeting of 1 vs. 2, and the first since 2008, and the matchup did not disappoint for many who see it as a sneak preview of the Final Four. Julius Randle had 23 of his 27 points in the second half, as the Wildcats (2-1) erased a 13-point deficit. But they couldn’t overcome a 20-of-36 showing at the line.
No. 3 Louisville 97, Hofstra 69
Russ Smith scored 21 of his game-high 30 points in the first half and host Louisville made 12 3-pointers to set the tone for a rout of Hofstra. The senior guard shot 12-of-22 from the field including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. Wayne Blackshear made three consecutive 3s for nine points to help Louisville break the game open with a 26-2 second-half run.
Louisville (2-0) shot 35-of-68 overall (51.5 percent), a big improvement from its 38 percent effort in its opener.
No. 7 Michigan 93, South Carolina State 59
Caris LeVert made his first five 3-point attempts, and host Michigan (2-0) had a terrific night from beyond the arc. LeVert finished with 24 points, going 6-of-7 from long distance.
No. 8 Oklahoma State 93, Utah Valley State 40
Phil Forte scored 19 points to lead six double-figure scorers and host Oklahoma State cruised past Utah Valley. The Cowboys (2-0) hit 10-of-18 from 3-point range in the first half and 14-of-33 from beyond the arc for the game.
No. 9 Syracuse 89, Fordham 74
C.J. Fair scored a career-high 26 points, Jerami Grant added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and host Syracuse beat Fordham. The Orange had the game in hand by halftime, leading by 25 behind 15 points from Fair as the Syracuse defense clamped down from the opening tip.
No. 20 Wisconsin 59, No. 11 Florida 53
Sam Dekker scored 16 points, Traevon Jackson added 13 and Wisconsin overcame a sloppy start to hold off Florida in its home opener. The Gators (1-1) turned up their backcourt pressure to narrow a 10-point deficit to 51-48 with 2 minutes left on two free throws by center Patric Young. Another free throw by Young cut it to 56-53 with 41.8 seconds left. But Jackson hit a floater at the foul line over Jacob Kurtz with about 10 seconds left and Frank Kaminsky blocked a shot on the other to seal the win for Wisconsin (2-0).
No. 14 VCU 59, No. 25 Virginia 56
Treveon Graham scored 22 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to play, and VCU beat host Virginia in front a sellout crowd at John Paul Jones Arena. The Rams (2-0) trailed for almost all of the final 10 minutes until Graham’s steal and baseline jumper gave them a 56-55 lead with 1:18 left. Malcolm Brogdon then hit just the second of two free throws with 9.7 seconds left for the Cavaliers (1-1), tying the score before the Rams called time out and set up the final play.
No. 17 Marquette 114, Grambling State 71
Chris Otule scored 17 points and Steve Taylor added 16 points and 11 rebounds to help host Marquette roll over Grambling State. The last time Marquette (2-0) reached the century mark came in a 102-77 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 21, 2010. Deonte Burton added 14 points for Marquette.
No. 23 Baylor 66, South Carolina 64
Brady Heslip scored 18 points with five 3-pointers and host Baylor (2-0) held on to win without making a field goal in the final 7 minutes and having to wait out a lengthy review after the final buzzer before officials determined there wasn’t yet another foul in the game.
No. 24 UCLA 91, Oakland 60
Jordan Adams scored 22 points and Tony Parker added 21 as host UCLA beat Oakland (0-2). The Bruins (2-0) pulled away by closing the first half on a 27-9 run.