Nick Ward had 22 points and nine rebounds, Miles Bridges added 17 points and Matt McQuaid added a season-high 15 to help Michigan State beat No. 16 Wisconsin, 84-74, on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.
The Spartans (18-11, 10-6 Big Ten) have won six of their last eight games, moving them into a third-place tie in the conference and perhaps sealing their spot in a 20th straight NCAA tournament.
The Badgers (22-7, 11-5) have lost four of five and lost a chance to pull into a first-place tie with No. 14 Purdue.
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes scored 22 points, Bronson Koenig had 17 and Zak Showalter added 15. Ethan Happ fouled out with eight points, more than six points below his average for the Badgers.
Michigan State went on an 11-1 run midway through the second half, building a 12-point lead that it was able to maintain.
No. 7 Louisville 88, at Syracuse 68: Donovan Mitchell made six three-pointers for 25 points, Ray Spalding added 18 points with 11 rebounds and the Cardinals shot 57% to pull away for the victory.
Seeking a second-place tie with Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Cardinals rode a 14-4 run entering the break for a 15-point lead that grew to 23 early in the second half. That provided a buffer against shaky play Syracuse used to get within 11 but never closer as Louisville (23-6, 11-5) rebounded from its loss at No. 8 North Carolina.
Deng Adel had 17 points and Quentin Snider 12 for Louisville. Tyus Battle had 20 points and Tyler Lydon 17 for Syracuse (17-13, 9-8), which had sought a follow-up to its buzzer-beating win over No. 10 Duke.
Central Florida 53, at No. 15 Cincinnati 49: B.J. Taylor scored 27 points and 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall had seven points and four blocked shots to help the Knights to the win.
After Cincinnati pulled within two points when UCF missed two free throws in the waning seconds, Fall came through by making two free throws with two seconds left. It was the first time in nine meetings that the Knights defeated the Bearcats.
And this loss could be biggest for Cincinnati (25-4, 14-2), which was trying to stay in step with American Athletic Conference-leading SMU. UCF (19-10, 10-7), which is trying to position themselves to make a postseason tournament, won their fourth straight game and recorded their first win over a top-25 opponent since defeating No. 4 UConn in 2011.
at No. 21 Notre Dame 64, Georgia Tech 60: Bonzie Colson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Irish earned their fifth straight victory. Matt Farrell added 17 points for the Irish (22-7, 11-5 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9) with 20 points, and Josh Okogie had 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Yellow Jackets have lost three of four.
No. 22 Butler 88, at Xavier 79: Kelan Martin had another big game, scoring 25 points, and the Bulldogs followed their biggest road win of the season with yet another by pulling away in the closing minutes.
The Bulldogs (23-6, 12-5 Big East) were coming off a 74-66 victory at No. 2 Villanova, one of the biggest road wins in their history. They kept the momentum with a strong finish, outscoring Xavier 19-8 down the stretch for their fourth straight win.
Neither team led by more than six points before Butler’s closing spurt. Kamar Baldwin added 17 points and had two steals that set up the late run.
Xavier (18-11, 8-8) has lost five in a row, its deepest slump in 35 years. The Musketeers dropped six straight in 1981-82 under Coach Bob Staak.