Back half of Top 25 has dif­fi­cult week High­lights

The Bradenton Herald - - Tv Listings & Sports -

No. 6 Michi­gan St. 71, Penn St. 56:

The teams lead­ing the AP Top 25 spent the week pil­ing up vic­to­ries or sur­viv­ing close calls, most notably when top-ranked Duke posted a last-sec­ond win at No. 13 Florida State.

Things didn’t go nearly so well for teams in the sec­ond half of the poll.

In the lat­est sign of what could be an­other un­pre­dictable March, 12 of the 15 teams out­side the top 10 lost at least once and com­bined for 17 losses. That in­cluded five teams los­ing twice: No. 14 Mis­sis­sippi State, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 Iowa State, No. 24 St. John’s and No. 25 TCU.

The only ranked teams out­side the top 10 to avoid losses were No. 18 Ken­tucky, No. 19 Buf­falo and No. 21 Mar­quette, set­ting the stage for some sig­nif­i­cant changes in Mon­day’s new poll.

Some of the losses, at least, came in matchups against higher-ranked league op­po­nents, head­lined by the Semi­noles fall­ing on Cam Red­dish’s 3-pointer with 0.8 sec­onds left de­spite Duke play­ing the sec­ond half with­out star fresh­man Zion Wil­liamson (poked in the eye).

The oth­ers were No. 15 North Carolina State los­ing to No. 12 North Carolina, No. 23 Ok­la­homa fall­ing to eighth-ranked Texas Tech and the Horned Frogs los­ing to both the Soon­ers and No. 7 Kansas in the Big 12.

No. 2 Michi­gan 80, North­west­ern 60:

Jon Teske scored all 17 of his points in the first half, and the Wolver­ines (17-0, 6-0 Big Ten) are off to their best start in pro­gram his­tory af­ter beat­ing the Wild­cats (10-7, 1-5) in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michi­gan started 16-0 on two prior oc­ca­sions (1985-86, 2012-13). The vic­tory also matched the Wolver­ines’ long­est win­ning streak, set in 1985 be­fore los­ing in the sec­ond round of the first 64-team NCAA Tour­na­ment.

Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 re­bounds to lead the Spar­tans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten) to vic­tory in State Col­lege, Pa. Matt McQuaid added 15 points and Cas­sius Win­ston chipped in 11 for Michi­gan State, which has won 10 straight. The Spar­tans also beat the Nit­tany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th con­sec­u­tive time. UCF 76, East Carolina 65: Aubrey Dawkins scored 18 as the host Knights won their sev­enth in a row de­spite a 35-point, 20-re­bound per­for­mance by Pi­rates fresh­man for­ward Jay­den Gard­ner.

UCF main­tained a dou­ble-fig­ure lead most of the sec­ond half but a 3-point play by Gard­ner got the Pi­rates within six with 3:22 re­main­ing. How­ever, UCF’s Ter­rell Allen scored six points in a 10-5 game-end­ing run.

TONY DING AP

Michi­gan’s Zavier Simp­son (3) and Isa­iah Livers (4) cel­e­brate with Jon Teske af­ter Teske made con­sec­u­tive 3-point bas­kets against North­west­ern on Sun­day.

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