Men’s College Basketball Scores: Short-studded Illinois Impress, No. 1 Auburn and No. 12 Kentucky Survive SEC Scare

Tuesday’s men’s college basketball playlist showed 10 top-25 teams in action, including two games between ranked opponents.

Here’s everything you need to know from a fun-filled Tuesday night of men’s college basketball.

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Click or tap here for Tuesday’s full scoreboard.

No. 24 Illinois holds back No. 10 Michigan State’s late comeback for a 56-55 win

Spartans forward Malik Hall drove the basket with less than three seconds left and two seconds down. When he threw up a layup after time was up, Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins made just enough contact to be called for a foul. It would be up to Hall to take his final two free throws to tie the game.

After missing the first, it didn’t matter that he managed the second — No. 24 Illinois got away with a 56-55 win over No. 10 Michigan State.

WOAH: That’s how the Big 12 established itself as the wildest conference in college basketball

With the victory, the Fighting Illini prevented the comeback of the Spartans. Illinois led by 14 points at halftime, and Michigan State walked away with a 35-22 advantage in the second half. Still, it wasn’t enough.

Illinois clinched the win without stars Kofi Cockburn and Andre Curbelo. Cockburn sat out his second straight game after suffering a concussion in a 2OT loss at Purdue on Jan. 17. Curbelo was canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Fighting Illini were undeterred in defeating their Big Ten rivals. Others performed in Cockburn and Curbelo’s absences. Senior guard Trent Frazier was massive, amassing 16 points and five assists. Graduate student guard Alfonso Plummer lost 11 points, freshman guard Luke Goode had nine, and redshirt sophomore forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk had eight points.

The win moves Illinois up to number one in the Big Ten.

No. 1 Auburn survives scare against Missouri, No. 12 Kentucky needs OT to beat Mississippi state

Two of the SEC’s top teams spooked their fanbases Tuesday night. In the end, however, both victories were achieved.

Throughout Tuesday night’s game, Missouri hung there with Auburn — the newly minted No. 1 team in the nation. Even with Auburn leading 55-51 with 47 seconds left, Missouri senior Javon Pickett responded with a three-pointer to level his roster to one.

It wasn’t enough as No. 1 Auburn clinched a 55-54 win on the road in Missouri.

Auburn sophomore KD Johnson led by a team-high 17 points. Fellow sophomore Walker Kessler hit a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and made it big with the win. Auburn won the game despite shooting just 30.0 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. Missouri didn’t release much better numbers, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three-point.

POLL: Here’s the latest AP poll

With the win, Auburn improves to 19-1 on the season and has now won 16 straight games.

Kentucky’s game against Mississippi State wasn’t as much a punch-to-beat battle as it was more about preventing a comeback from the Bulldogs. The Wildcats led by as much as 15 midway through the second half, but Mississippi State fought back to force overtime 72-72.

Ice slammed through grad student Kellan Grady’s veins as he scored eight goals in overtime to propel Kentucky past the Bulldogs 82-74. Grady finished the race with 18 points while junior Oscar Tshiebwe put on a memorable performance. The forward amassed 21 points and a whopping 22 rebounds.

It’s the first 20-20 game since Mike Phillips scored 26 points and 28 rebounds against Tennessee on January 10, 1976.

Kentucky improves to 6-2 in the SEC game.

No. 9 Duke narrowly escapes one with Clemson, wins 71-69

Despite a brave effort from Clemson, No. 9 Duke ended Tuesday night with a 71-69 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Star Paolo Banchero scored the game-winning layup with 10 seconds remaining. He ended the night with a team-high 19 points. Center Mark Williams was also massive in the win, hitting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Wendell Moore Jr. delivered a solid game with 13 points. So did Senior Joey Baker, who posted 11 of his own.

Clemson was powered by sophomore PJ Hall with 14 points, senior Hunter Tyson with 13, and sophomore Chase Hunter with 12 points.

No. 7 UCLA takes on No. 3 Arizona in 75-59 win

In a battle between the top two teams in the Pac-12, No. 7 UCLA had no problem edging past No. 3 Arizona in a 75-59 win.

Junior Johnny Juzang and senior Jules Bernard led the Bruins offensively by 15 points each. UCLA had a massive shooting advantage, putting 50 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from over the arc. For comparison, Arizona brought up just 31.1 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from three.

Want more of this rivalry? These teams will meet again in just over a week on February 3rd. This game takes place in Arizona.

Georgia upset SEC rival Alabama in an 82-76 stunner

Even though none of these rosters have any rankings, that’s still pretty upsetting.

Georgia went into the night with a record of 5-14. Alabama countered at 13-7. The Bulldogs didn’t seem to care about the discrepancy between the records and defeated the Crimson Tide, 82-76.

The Bulldogs were led by grad student Aaron Cook with 15 points, sophomore Jabri Abdur-Rahim and redshirt senior Braelen Bridges with 13 points each, and sophomore Kario Oquendo with 11 points and seven rebounds.

BRACKET SZN: Check out Andy Katz’s bracket predictions 50 days after selection Sunday

Georgia had previously lost eight straight games, six of them to SEC opponents. But after Tuesday, the Bulldogs found themselves on a one-game winning streak and faced a great opponent in Alabama. They improve to 1-6 in the SEC game. The Crimson Tide fall to 4-4.

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