|Michigan State guard Keith Appling scores the final basket of the game on a left-handed layup in the Spartans' win over Kansas. (US Presswire)|
The Jayhawks (1-1) held a five-point lead with five minutes to go when the Spartans (1-1) went on an 8-0 run. It happened because of four empty trips by KU, which started with freshman forward Perry Ellis fading away on an open shot in the paint and then traveling on the next possession.
"We played pretty good for 36 minutes, and then made a lot of soft plays down the stretch," KU coach Bill Self said.
The Jayhawks had plenty of positives to take away. They made 4-of-9, 3-pointers after shooting 9.5 percent from distance in their opener against Southeast Missouri State. Senior point guard Elijah Johnson was aggressive and scored 16 points after playing passive in the opener.
But in the end, the Spartans were the battle-tested team after a tough season-opening loss to Connecticut.
"I thought Michigan State played so much better than they did against Connecticut," Self said. "I thought our pressure really bothered them first half, but it didn't the second half because there wasn't any."
When the game turned: Michigan State guard Keith Appling made the two biggest plays of the game, The first was a 3-pointer that gave Michigan State a four-point lead with 1:38 left. Appling came off a ball screen and KU's Johnson went under the screen and was blocked off from recovering by teammate Jeff Withey.
Appling's second bucket gave Michigan State a three-point lead with 16 seconds left. Kansas nearly forced a shot clock violation, but Appling was able to take Withey off the dribble. He managed to get to the basket for an acrobatic left-handed finish at the rim.
- Appling: 19 points, made all three of his 3-pointers, 4-for-4 at the free throw line, 3 assists and 3 steals
- Michigan State G Gary Harris: 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting
- Johnson: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals
- Kansas G
Ben McLemore: 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block
What they said:
- Michigan State Tom Izzo on both team's offense: "What's funny about this is it looked like a defensive scrum and we shot 52 (percent) and they shot 50."
- Self on his team's defense: "Appling and Harris kicked our butt and ball-screen defense was deplorable, but that's not on Jeff. We tried to pre-switch it and do some different things but bottom-line is [Derrick] Nix set some great ball screens and we tried to go under, and the one time we go under, he drilled a three."
Numbers you should know: Kansas grabbed one offensive rebound in the second half. ... The Jayhawks had 16 turnovers and only eight assists on 24 field goals. Only one time last season did they have a lower assist rate -- a Nov. 23 loss to Duke.
Jayhawks: vs. Chattanooga (1-0), Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (Jayhawk TV)
Spartans: vs. Texas Southern (0-2), Sunday, 12 p.m. ET
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).