Arizona opened a star-studded college basketball Saturday with a thrilling comeback against Michigan, edging out the Wolverines, 72-70. Six free throws in the final 30 seconds by Wildcat guard Nick Johnson sealed the game for Arizona, who trailed by 11 early in the second half.
Robinson III was the story early, hitting all seven of his shots in the first half. But the sophomore forward disappeared in the second half as Arizona mounted a comeback. Brandon Ashley finished with 18, highlighted by several putbacks and highlight-reel dunks. The Wildcats dominated the offensive glass, grabbing 17 of their own missed shots.
The win should be enough for Arizona to retain its No. 1 ranking, notching their second big road win of the season. The Wildcats previously beat San Diego State in California on Nov. 14. Michigan will need to regroup, but can build off a game where it hung around with the best team in the country.
No. 4 Wisconsin 86, Eastern Kentucky 61
The Badgers retain their perfect record, blowing past the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Ben Brust hit five threes for Wisconsin, finishing with a team-high 20 points. The lead was double digits for almost the entirety of the game, with the Badgers taking a 19-point lead into halftime. Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes took 17 trips to the free-throw line, compared to just nine from all of the Colonels combined.
No. 6 Louisville 79, Western Kentucky 63
Five Cardinals scored in double digits as Louisville cruised to their ninth win of the season. Russ Smith led the way with 14, but dished out ten assists for his third double-double in four games. Smith's numbers -- and Louisville's wins -- have come against inferior competition, but the defending champions have to like the unselfishness of their best player.
No. 7 Oklahoma State 70, Louisiana Tech 55
The Cowboys held Louisiana Tech to just 18 points in the first half, breezing by the Bulldogs in Oklahoma City. Le'Bryan Nash scored 22 points for Okie State to lead the team. Marcus Smart earned his butter on the defensive end, grabbing seven rebounds and stealing the ball five times from his guard position.
No. 12 Wichita State 70, Tennessee 61
Wichita State is off to the best start in school history, but the record-breaking tenth win did not come easily. Tennessee ran the floor and at times looked like the more athletic team. But Wichita's Tekele Cotton put the team on his back in the second half, scoring all 19 of his points in that period. Shockers leading scorer Ron Baker was hobbled by an ankle sprain, scoring just eight points in the win. Senior guard Jordan McRae led the Volunteers with 26 points.
No. 22 Massachusetts 80, Northern Illinois 54
Another UMass game, another strong showing from Chaz Williams. The 5'9 guard scored 12 and dropped seven assists for the high-flying Minutemen. The Huskies were overwhelmed early, trailing by double digits after only four minutes of play. Massachusetts hit nearly 50 percent of their three-pointers, with Williams chipping in three triples. The Minutemen visit Ohio on Dec. 18 before a big showdown with Florida State on Dec. 21.