LAWRENCE, Kan. Life without Roy Williams may not be so bad after all.
Wayne Simien scored 28 points and hustling, hard-nosed No. 6 Kansas withstood a late rally in college basketball's first marquee matchup of the year and beat No. 3 Michigan State 81-74 Tuesday night.
''I saw some things out there tonight that I have seen only a few times in practice,'' said Bill Self, who's 2-0 as Williams' successor.
Self said his Jayhawks seem to be coming together under a new system and coach faster than even he had expected.
''I hope it gives us credibility with our players that our system works,'' he said. ''We won a money game tonight. I think the guys will gain confidence.''
Kansas hit its first six shots of the second half and quickly took a 54-39 lead as venerable Allen Fieldhouse rocked in the showdown between preseason favorites of the Big 12 and Big Ten.
But Michigan State's Shannon Brown, who had only one point in the first half, hit three straight buckets and ignited a 12-2 run for the Spartans (1-1).
''The first half, Simien had his way,'' said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. ''He is good. It was one of the toughest games to play as a big guy.''
Paul Davis, Michigan State's 6-foot-11 sophomore, sliced the lead to 76-72 with a follow shot at the 2:22 mark.
But on Kansas' next possession, J.R. Giddens rebounded a Michael Lee miss and dunked the ball, bringing the crowd of 16,300 to its feet and putting Kansas on top 78-72.
Lee then rebounded a Davis miss inside and Aaron Miles hit a pair of free throws with 26 seconds to go to seal the win.
''We had it to four and then they got the board,'' Izzo said. ''We just didn't get a body on him.''
Simien, a 6-7 junior who missed 22 games last season with a separated shoulder, had 18 points in the rough-and-tumble first half en route to his career-high 28.
''He is just a great player,'' said Davis. ''He can move his feet really well.''
Simien burned the Spartans with a variety of inside power moves as well as the first 3-pointer of his career.
''I got into a pretty good rhythm,'' he said. ''I felt really good out there.''
Miles had 17 points and six assists while Keith Langford had 13 points all in the second half.
Maurice Ager had 17 points and Alan Anderson 16 for the Spartans, whose only lead was 4-2. Davis had 13, while guard Chris Hill, in foul trouble most of the second half, had nine.
The Spartans did not block a shot and committed 24 turnovers while the Jayhawks had seven blocks and only 18 turnovers.
No. 8 Florida 112, Montana State 73
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Florida sophomore Christian Drejer opened the season Tuesday with career highs of 19 points and 11 assists.
Drejer, the star from Denmark who struggled with injuries last season, was the headliner in a game in which almost all the Gators looked good. That included the freshmen, Ryan Appleby, Chris Richard and Mohamed Abukar, all of whom got plenty of playing time against the overmatched Bobcats (2-1).
No. 13 Saint Joseph's 71, Boston University 56
BOSTON Delonte West scored 20 points and Jameer Nelson added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's.
The Hawks (2-0) shot 12-of-29 from 3-point range, including 8-for-16 in the first half.
No. 14 Oklahoma 81, Tulsa 73
NORMAN, Okla. Jaison Williams scored 16 points and Lawrence McKenzie added 13 for the Sooners (3-0).
Oklahoma outscored Tulsa 12-6 in the final 2:17 to seal the victory, helped by freshman point guard Drew Lavender's layup that started the run and Williams' quick putback after stealing an in-bounds pass.
No 15 Wisconsin 81, Eastern Illinois 47
MADISON, Wis. Freddie Owens scored a career-high 24 points and the Badgers (2-0) overcame shooting struggles for the victory.
Devin Harris added 15 points, and Mike Wilkinson had 12 to help Wisconsin extend its home winning streak to 14 games.
No. 25 North Carolina State 71, Howard 51
RALEIGH, N.C. Scooter Sherrill scored 17 points and Julius Hodge added 15 to lift the Wolfpack (2-0).
Ilian Evtimov, who missed last season with a knee injury, added 11 points and six rebounds.
No. 1 Connecticut 81, Florida State 53
HARTFORD, Conn. Diana Taurasi scored 27 of her 31 points in the first half.
Taurasi poured in 12 points during a 22-7 run in the final 7:50 of the first half, allowing the Huskies (2-0) to turn a tie game into a 50-35 advantage.
No. 2 Texas 89, UCLA 58
AUSTIN, Texas Freshman Tiffany Jackson had 19 points and 12 rebounds in her home debut, leading Texas over UCLA.
Jamie Carey scored 16 points as the Longhorns (3-0) ran their home winning streak to 21 games. Texas shot 57 percent from the floor.
Old Dominion 75, No. 7 Penn St. 68
NORFOLK, Va. Monique Coker had 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Old Dominion in the upset.
No. 8 Purdue 88, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 60
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Shereka Wright and Katie Gearlds had 17 points and five rebounds apiece for Purdue.
No. 10 Georgia 84, Georgia Southern 53
STATESBORO, Ga. Sherill Baker scored 21 points for Georgia.
Georgia (2-0) got consecutive 3-pointers from Cori Chambers during a 12-0 run that gave the Lady Bulldogs a 32-12 lead midway through the first half.
No. 11 Minnesota 73, Drake 50
DES MOINES, Iowa Janel McCarville scored 22 points and Shannon Schonrock added 20 including six 3s for Minnesota.
No. 13 North Carolina 75, Kentucky 59
LEXINGTON, Ky. LaTangela Atkinson and Nikita Bell led a second-half surge that carried North Carolina over Kentucky.
No. 14 Ohio St. 70, N.C.-Wilmington 42
COLUMBUS, Ohio Caity Matter scored 20 points and Ashley Allen added 15 for Ohio State.
No. 25 Auburn 67, Youngstown St. 36
AUBURN, Ala. Le'Coe Willingham and Nitasha Brown scored 11 points apiece for Auburn.
No. 6 Stanford 75, San Francisco 50
STANFORD, Calif. Nicole Powell scored 28 points, and Stanford extended its winning streak against San Francisco to 12 games.
No. 16 UC Santa Barbara 75, No. 21 Arizona 65
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. Lindsay Taylor blocked four shots to break the Santa Barbara school record with 181, and added 23 points and eight rebounds.
No. 24 Oregon 73, Gonzaga 57
SPOKANE, Wash. Andrea Bills had 16 points and eight rebounds to spark Oregon.
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