Top 25 basketball: No. 2 Michigan survives scare against Columbia
East Lansing, Mich. • Tom Izzo is openly lobbying for someone else to move to No. 1 in next week's rankings.
"We've just got to hope now that Kansas blows somebody out so they move them ahead of us," the Michigan State coach said. "We proved tonight we're not ready to handle any kind of success, and that disappoints me."
The angst was back in Izzo's voice Friday night, even though No. 2 Michigan State did pull away from upset-minded Columbia in the final two minutes for a 62-53 victory. The Spartans trailed for a majority of the second half, but Adreian Payne was too much for the Lions inside, finishing with 26 points.
Michigan State (3-0) beat top-ranked Kentucky earlier in the week, and No. 5 Kansas beat No. 4 Duke. Unbeaten Louisville is No. 3.
Maodo Lo had 12 points for Columbia (1-2), which kept its poise for the most part but went scoreless for the final 4:27.
"All credit to Columbia. They came out and played their heart out," Michigan State's Denzel Valentine said. "We need to come out with more energy and passion than we did today."
Michigan State scored the game's first nine points, but the Spartans trailed 26-22 at halftime and didn't lead again until Gary Harris' three-point play put Michigan State ahead 49-46 with 7:28 to go.
• No. 2 Michigan State 62, Columbia 53
• No. 3 Louisville 99, Cornell 54
• No. 4 Duke 97, Florida Atlantic 64
• No. 8 Oklahoma State 97, Arknasas-Pine Bluff 63
• No. 12 North Carolina 62, Holy Cross 54