Monday's presumptive No. 1 team in the country, Michigan State was nearly upset by Columbia on Friday. The Spartans trailed several times in the second half, but got just enough out of Adreian Payne to secure a 62-53 win.
Michigan State went up, 9-0, start the game, but the Lions didn't have any intention of quitting. Columbia made seven of its 16 three-point attempts and clawed its way to a 26-22 halftime lead. No lead was safe in the second half, but Michigan State finished strong as Payne scored ten points in the final six minutes.
A potential lottery pick, the 6'10 forward put the team on his back. The senior had 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting, adding 11 rebounds to complete a double-double. Keith Appling and Gary Harris both struggled in the backcourt, combining to shoot 5 of 14 and score just 14 points.
The Spartans put themselves in a position to take the top spot in the polls with Tuesday's win over then-No.1 Kentucky. Michigan State hosts Portland on Monday.