Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Tuesday …
Game of the Day: Ohio State overcomes 17-point second-half deficit, but falls in overtime to Michigan State.
For about 32 minutes on Tuesday night, Michigan State looked like the best team in the country. The Spartans were scoring in all sorts of ways on the offensive end, while forcing Ohio State into a nightmarish night on the defensive end of the floor. They were switching every screen, making the Buckeyes unable to get any good looks from the perimeter. It was 55-38 after a Keith Appling layup. Suddenly, Ohio State went small, Michigan State went cold, and the Buckeyes went on a 20-3 run over the final eight minutes of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime. Shannon Scott actually had a chance to win it in regulation, but his layup rimmed out in the final seconds.
In overtime, Ohio State went cold again and a Marc Loving 3-pointer to tie it in the final seconds didn't fall, enabling Michigan State to hand Ohio State its first loss of the season, 72-68. Appling was fantastic for the Spartans, finishing with 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while Adreian Payne -- who was unlikely to even play -- had 18 points and six rebounds off the bench. Ohio State struggled offensively for most of the night, but its defensive effort late brought them back. Sam Thompson led the Buckeyes with 18 points.
Both teams have question marks going forward, but Ohio State's might be a bit more concerning. The Buckeyes simply struggle to score at times. LaQuinton Ross is their most talented scorer, but he's inconsistent and was just 1-for-7 on Tuesday. He didn't even play during the latter parts of the game. Aaron Craft and Scott couldn't really get anything going in the half-court, and Lenzelle Smith's shot wasn't falling, either. A lot of their offense depends on Ross -- and sometimes, it's difficult to trust him.
What else we'll be talking about in the morning: DeAndre Kane and Iowa State both make statements in blowout win over Baylor.
Norlander wrote about Kane earlier Tuesday night, but he deserves another note here. He flat-out proved himself as one of the best guards in the country on Tuesday, finishing with 30 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and five steals. Kane did absolutely everything against Baylor, making plays at both ends of the floor, pushing the ball in transition, finishing at the rim, making shots – anything. If Marcus Smart is the consensus best guards in the country, one can certainly make the case that Kane is playing like the second-best guard around.
Iowa State is now 14-0 on the season, with wins over Iowa, Baylor, Michigan and Boise State. The Cyclones do have a tough upcoming stretch, though, where they can prove how good they really are. There's a road trip to Oklahoma this weekend, then Kansas comes to town on Monday.
That's a good win: Tennessee and LSU seem to be going in opposite directions after Tuesday.
A couple of weeks ago, LSU looked like the much better team than Tennessee, and a legitimate threat to finish third in the SEC. After Tuesday, though, the Volunteers are the ones with optimism – while LSU is struggling. Tennessee went into Baton Rouge and cruised to a 68-50 win, with Jarnell Stokes going for 15 points and 15 rebounds against LSU's talented frontcourt. Jordan McRae also went for 19 points for Tennessee. That's four wins in a row for Tennessee, while LSU has now lost back-to-back home games after also falling over the weekend to Rhode Island.
But that's a bad loss: Notre Dame follows up win over Duke with loss to North Carolina State.
This isn't a terrible loss on paper, but to come off a win over Duke only to lose at home to North Carolina State by seven isn't good. Garrick Sherman had 21 points and 18 boards inside, but Eric Atkins and Patrick Connaughton shot 10-for-27 from the field, with Atkins going 1-for-8 from 3-point range. Four of the Fighting Irish's next five games are on the road – this was one they needed.
Creighton injuries: Two of the biggest notes coming out of Tuesday will be the status of Creighton's Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs. Gibbs left Tuesday's game against DePaul with a leg injury, while McDermott hurt his shoulder but returned to the game. We should know more on Wednesday. Creighton won, 81-62.
Creighton's Grant Gibbs will have an MRI tomorrow on his knee. No other updates expected today.— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) January 8, 2014
Players with impact
- Youngstown State's Kendrick Perry has been in this section a few times this season, and his 23-point, seven-rebound, five-steal performance is just another night for him.
- Keifer Sykes of Green Bay is another guy who has made multiple appearances here. He had 21 points and nine assists on Tuesday night.
- Twenty-three points, seven rebounds, four 3-pointers for Brown's Sean McGonagill in a win over New Hampshire.
Numbers to figure
41-42: Baylor is 41-42 in January under Scott Drew – but it is 26-10 in January since the 2009-10 season.
5: With Syracuse and Iowa State winning, but Ohio State losing, five unbeaten teams remain.
7: Cincinnati had just seven field goals in the second half against Houston, but the Bearcats still managed to win by one and move to 3-0 in AAC play.
Other outcomes of note:
- Jordair Jett is known more for his defense, but he had 31 points, the game-winning free throws and the game-clinching steal as Saint Louis escaped Rhode Island with a 59-58 win. The Atlantic 10 is going to be very competitive this season.
- No. 2 Syracuse rolled on the road on Tuesday, knocking off Virginia Tech, 72-52. Tyler Ennis had another impressive night: 13 points, seven assists, one turnover.
- Duke got off to a slow start against Georgia Tech, but the Blue Devils rebounded from their weekend loss with a 79-57 win. Jabari Parker struggled through a 4-for-12 night, but Rodney Hood had another 27 points.
- That's now 10 in a row for Kansas State, as the Wildcats cruised past TCU by 18. Thomas Gipson went for 19 points and eight boards, while Marcus Foster had 16 points.
- Alabama defeated Vanderbilt in each team's SEC opener.
-- If you missed it, UTEP kicked three players off the team after the school reported gambling allegations to the FBI.
-- Couple of transfer updates in the late-afternoon/evening hours. First, Notre Dame transfer Cameron Biedscheid decided to go to Missouri, while former Providence freshman Brandon Austin is heading to Oregon.
-- 7-foot-2 center Chier Ajou is leaving Northwestern.
-- Memphis head coach Josh Pastner fired the team's trainer on Tuesday, but there's a twist: the trainer is also Pastner's brother-in-law. What happened? Gary Parrish has answers.