NCAA BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Michigan State avoids upset
Adreian Payne scored 26 points, and No. 2 Michigan State avoided a stunning upset Friday night, holding off Columbia, 62-53, in the final minutes.
The Spartans (3-0) beat top-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday, and they’ll have a chance to move to the top of the AP Top 25, but only after trailing for a majority of the second half against Columbia (1-2).
Michigan State scored the game’s first nine points, but the Spartans trailed 26-22 at halftime and didn’t lead in the second half until Gary Harris’ three-point play his team ahead 49-46 with 7:28 to go.
The Spartans held Columbia without a field goal for the final 4:27.
NO. 3 LOUISVILLE 99, CORNELL 54: Kevin Ware scored quickly in his return for Louisville, and the defending NCAA champion Cardinals (3-0) beat Cornell for their school-record 19th straight win.
Ware shattered his leg during last season’s Midwest Regional final. He scored just 17 seconds after checking in with 14:06 left in the first half.
NO. 4 DUKE 97, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 64: Rodney Hood scored a career-high 28 points, Jabari Parker added 21, and Duke (2-1) routed Florida Atlantic.
Parker had his third straight 20-point performance and became the first freshman in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 34 seasons at Duke to begin his career with three consecutive 20-point games.
NO. 8 OKLAHOMA STATE 97, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 63: Phil Forte and Markel Brown each scored 22 points as Oklahoma State beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Marcus Smart added 16 points for the Cowboys (3-0).
NO. 12 NORTH CAROLINA 62, HOLY CROSS 54: Marcus Paige scored a career-high 23 points to help North Carolina push its way past Holy Cross.
Paige scored 16 points in the second half as the Tar Heels (2-0) broke a 35-all tie.
North Carolina again played without leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald due to NCAA eligibility concerns.
Malachi Alexander scored 13 to lead Holy Cross (1-2).