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, likely denying the Wolverines their first No. 1 ranking in more than 20 years.
After No. 1 Duke lost to North Carolina State a day earlier, the Wolverines were in prime position to ascend to No. 1 for the first time since November 1992. Instead, they went home with their first loss.
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, Michigan kept chipping away. The Wolverines switched defenses, causing the Buckeyes problems with matchup zones.
EVANSVILLE 71, NO. 23 WICHITA STATE 67
In Evansville, Ind., Colt Ryan had 24 points and eight assists and Evansville (11-6, 4-1 Missouri Valley Conference) made seven free throws over the final last 1:25 to hold off Wichita State (15-2, 4-1).
Malcolm Armstead had a career-high 21 points for Wichita State.
NO. 22 MICHIGAN STATE 66, NEBRASKA 56
In East Lansing, Mich., Derrick Nix made two free throws with a minute left and finished with 17 points to help Michigan State (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten) pull away from Nebraska (9-8, 0-4).
David Rivers had 18 points for Nebraska. Dylan Talley scored 17.
MIAMI 54, MARYLAND 47
In Miami, Kenny Kadji scored 14 points and Trey McKinney Jones added 12 to lead Miami (12-3, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) past Maryland (13-3, 1-2).
Dez Wells had 18 points and Alex Len 16 for the Terrapins.