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March 8, 2013

Appling lifts Spartans vs. Badgers

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Keith Appling scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help No. 10 Michigan State pull away to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 58-43 on Thursday night and stay in the Big Ten race.

The Spartans (23-7, 12-5) moved into a three-way tie for second with Michigan and Ohio State. The trio trails conference-leading Indiana with one game left in the regular season.

The Hoosiers can claim the Big Ten title outright with a win Sunday in Ann Arbor against the Wolverines. If they lose, Michigan would earn piece of the title and give Michigan State and the Buckeyes a shot to pull into a four-way tie. The Spartans close the regular season Sunday at home against Northwestern after Ohio State hosts Illinois.

The Badgers (20-10, 11-6) fell to fifth place with the decisive road loss after Purdue handed them their most lopsided setback at home in more than seven years.

Colorado 76, No. 10 Oregon 53: Xavier Johnson had a career-high 22 points to help Colorado beat Oregon, completing a season sweep and thwarting the Ducks’ bid to gain a share of the Pac-12 Conference title.

The Buffaloes (20-9, 10-7) played without the nation’s leading rebounder, Andre Roberson, who sat out with a viral illness. Gone with the athletic junior forward were 11.5 rebounds and 10.8 points a game.

Arsalan Kazemi, Jonathan Loyd and Ben Carter each had 10 points for Oregon (23-7, 12-5), which fell into a first-place tie with UCLA. The Ducks hold the tiebreaker after beating the Bruins in their only meeting in January.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 17 points as Colorado improved to 12-2 at home this season.

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