Jonathan Holmes hit a three pointer at the buzzer as Texas held off Kansas State to pull the 67-64 upset at home on Tuesday. It was a close game throughout, with the largest lead sitting at a mere five points and the lead swinging six times in the final ten minutes.
Both teams played it tight throughout, but free throws almost spoiled it for each side in the waning seconds. After Will Spradling made a jumper with 52 seconds left to pull Kansas State within two, Shane Southwell would miss two consecutive free throws with 15 seconds left to spoil the chance to tie. Texas guard Javan Felix gave the Wildcats a second chance, missing both his free throws with 12 seconds left. Southwell almost sang his redemption song, hitting a jumper with seven seconds left to tie the game at 64-64.
On the ensuing in-bounds, no one was watching Holmes in the corner.
Holmes, who was 4-for-17 from three point land over his last seven games, buried the shot with one second left and walked straight into the joyful arms of his Texas teammates. Felix finished with a team-high 23 points, and center Cameron Ridley added 18, but it was Holmes eight points that were the most important.
With the win, the Longhorns lurched into a tie for second place with Kansas State in the Big 12 standings.
No. 3 Michigan St. Spartans 71, Indiana Hoosiers 66
The Indiana Hoosiers seem determined to give coach Tom Crean a bad case of heartburn on Selection Sunday after how they played against the the Michigan State Spartans on Tuesday. Indiana hung tough throughout the game but simply didn't have enough to earn the signature victory they desperately need this season. Just one year removed from a top seed in the tournament, the Hoosiers might be on the outside looking in when it comes to March Madness.
The Hoosiers looked like they had that signature win against the Wisconsin Badgers earlier in January, but followed up the big win with a confounding loss to Northwestern. Against Michigan State, Indiana looked like they rediscovered their fight. They led by five points with 10 minutes remaining in the second half, but an 11-2 run in 90 seconds by the Spartans quickly reversed those good tidings.
Yogi Ferrell led Indiana with 19 points, and Noah Vonleh added his ninth double-double of the year, but it wasn't enough. The Hoosiers return home to try and avenge an overtime loss to Illinois for their next game.
Gary Harris continued his stellar play for Michigan State as of late, finishing with a game-high 24 points and five steals.
No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats 68, Texas A&M Aggies 51
Kentucky forward Alex Poythress scored a season-high 16 points to push the Wildcats to second in the SEC. Poythress, who sits below Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein on the depth chart, saw plenty of action as Cauley-Stein dealt with foul trouble.
It wasn't the prettiest of wins for Kentucky, who still had their share of troubles in scoring. Andrew Harrison had just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, and the team shot 44 percent from the floor. But they kept their heads down and their noses on the offensive glass, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds en route to a 43-26 advantage on the boards.
Randle finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, good for his 13th double-double of the season.
No. 20 Pittsburgh Panthers 76, Clemson Tigers 43
The upstart Clemson Tigers just had a box score that was pulling double-takes across the ACC. Just a couple weeks removed from beating the Duke Blue Devils by 13 points, the Clemson Tigers couldn't get anything going against the Pittsburgh Panthers in one of their worse offensive efforts of the season.
Second place in the ACC was on the line, and the Panthers reminded everyone why the Tigers were picked to finish 14th in the conference. Clemson mustered a grand total of 43 points, the second lowest point total of the season. The Tigers shot 32 percent from the floor, 21 percent from three point line and 50 percent from the free throw line. They held the lead once in the entire game, when K.J. McDaniels hit a jumper to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. McDaniels, the team's leading scorer, finished with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Meanwhile, the Panthers offense was flowing at a rate they haven't seen in a while. Talib Zanna led Pittsburgh with 22 points, and the team shot 56 percent from the floor. The Panthers at points just shredded the Tigers defense, always finding the extra pass for the open man. Pittsburgh finished with 24 assists for 27 field goals.
Things don't get any easier for the Tigers, with their next game on the road against the North Carolina Tar Heels.