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Originally published Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 8:16 PM

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TOP-RANKED ARIZONA HOLDS OFF MICHIGAN

Nick Johnson made six free throws over the final 25 seconds, and Arizona held on for a 72-70 victory over Michigan.


The Associated Press

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With Arizona’s No. 1 ranking hanging precariously in the balance, T.J. McConnell hustled over to the corner for the biggest offensive rebound of the game.

Then Nick Johnson drew a foul, and the Wildcats overtook Michigan at the free-throw line.

Johnson made six free throws over the final 25 seconds, and Arizona held on for a 72-70 win over the Wolverines on Saturday after rallying from an 11-point, second-half deficit.

Michigan led by one with under a minute to go, but McConnell was able to rebound his own miss to keep a crucial possession alive.

Johnson drew a foul on a drive with 24.6 seconds left, and he put the Wildcats (11-0) ahead to stay.

“This was as quality of a win as you can have, in my opinion, in the country,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “I felt like today — we’re going to be better if we won, we’re going to be better if we lost.”

Michigan (6-4) certainly gave the Wildcats a test, leading for most of the game. If the Wolverines had been able to come up with McConnell’s late miss, they might have been the ones slating the game away late.

“The first two were the ones that I had to really concentrate about,” Johnson said. “After I made those, I knew that the next two, four, were going in.”

Top 10

At No. 3 Ohio St. 79, North Dakota St. 62

LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. each scored 18 points to lead the Buckeyes (10-0) past the Bison (7-4).

At No. 4 Wisconsin 86, E. Kentucky 61

Ben Brust scored 20 points to lead four Wisconsin players in double figures. The Badgers (12-0) are off to their best start since 1915-16.

No. 5 Michigan St. 67, Oakland 63

In Auburn Hills, Keith Appling scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half and Adreian Payne had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spartans (8-1).

At No. 6 Louisville 79, W. Kentucky 63

Russ Smith had 14 points and 10 assists and the Cardinals (9-1) shot 69 percent from the field in the second half.

No. 7 Oklahoma St. 70, Louisiana Tech 55

In Oklahoma City, Le’Bryan Nash had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Cowboys (9-1) overcame a sluggish start.




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