|Drew Neitzel (center), along with Idong Ibok (left) and Goran Suton, celebrate Michigan State's win over No. 1 Wisconsin. (AL GOLDIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Wisconsin toppled by Spartans
Wisconsin's first game as the nation's top-ranked men's basketball team did not go well.
Drew Neitzel scored 28 points last night at East Lansing, Mich., to lead Michigan State to a 64-55 victory over the Badgers, whose stay at No. 1 is likely to be short-lived.
Neitzel's 3-pointer with 3:51 left gave Michigan State (20-8, 7-6 Big Ten) a 51-49 lead, and the Spartans held on for the victory, giving their NCAA Tournament hopes a boost.
Wisconsin (26-3, 12-2) gained the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history Monday. It faces No. 2 Ohio State Sunday.
Michigan State grabbed a 4-point lead early in the second half, but the Badgers bounced back behind Marcus Landry's 3-point shooting. His 3 with 7:34 left gave Wisconsin a 47-43 lead.
Then Neitzel and Michigan State took over.
The junior guard hit two 3-pointers late in the game that gave the Spartans momentum. One of his shots bounced in and out of the basket twice before falling through, giving Michigan State a 56-49 lead with about 2:20 left.
"This is unbelievable," Neitzel said. "It is a chance for us to leave our legacy and our footprints on the program."
Michigan State had not beaten a No. 1-ranked team since Magic Johnson led the Spartans past Larry Bird and Indiana State in the 1979 national championship game.
UNLV 60, Air Force 50 -- Kevin Kruger had 14 points and 10 assists to help the Rebels beat No. 14 Air Force for their 13th straight home win.
Texas 80, Texas Tech 51 -- A.J. Abrams scored 18 points and Kevin Durant added 17 for the No. 19 Longhorns at Austin, Texas.
Providence 64, W. Virginia 61 -- Weyinmi Efejuku scored 24 points and had seven rebounds and the host Friars (17-9, 7-6 Big East) took advantage of 32 missed 3-point attempts by the 22d-ranked Mountaineers (20-7, 8-6).
Binghamton 66, UNH 37 -- Lazar Trifunovic scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Binghamton rolled at Durham, N.H.
UMass-Boston 88, W. Conn. 82 -- Dorchester's Tony Barros scored 48 points, including seven 3-pointers, as the sixth-seeded Beacons surprised the No. 3 seed Colonials in a Little East quarterfinal at Danbury, Conn.
Wentworth 81, Roger Williams 78 -- Wentworth opened overtime with a 7-0 run, then held on as a 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out for host Roger Williams in a Commonwealth Coast quarterfinal.
UConn (25-2, 14-0) clinched its first outright Big East regular-season title in three years. USF (18-9, 8-6) lost for the fourth time in five games.
Seton Hall 63, Marquette 58 -- Ela Mukosiej scored 16 points and Monique Blake added 13 as the host Pirates rallied past No. 19 Marquette.
Rutgers 69, Providence 34 -- Matee Ajavon had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead the No. 21 Scarlet Knights to a home win.
Holy Cross 67, Colgate 47 -- Senior Kaitlin Foley scored 23 points, including the 1,000th of her career, as the host Crusaders (12-16, 7-6 Patriot League) won their third straight.
UMBC 80, Vermont 72 -- Maryland-Baltimore County made 15 of 16 free throws in the final minute and senior Sharri Rhode scored a career-high 27 points to lead the visiting Retrievers.
S. Conn. 64, UMass-Lowell 49 -- Babette Noah had 21 points and 11 rebounds at Lowell as Southern Connecticut, ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, improved to 25-2, 20-2 in the Northeast 10.
W. Conn. 87, UMass-Boston 52 -- In the Little East quarterfinals, sophomore Stacey Roberts had 22 points and 10 rebounds as sixth-seeded Western Connecticut surprised the No. 3 seed Beacons.
S. Maine 97, UMass-Dartmouth 59 -- Stacey Kent had a school-record eight 3-pointers and career-high 28 points as Southern Maine improved to 23-2 in another Little East quarterfinal.