Playing as a No. 1-ranked team for the first time since 2000-01 on Monday, it took a little while for Michigan State to get things going.
Michigan State led just 36-32 at the half, but picked it up in the second half to win 46-35.
Keith Appling had a career-high 25 points and hit all six of his 3-point attempts. He also had seven assists to one turnover.
Adreian Payne added 19 for the Spartans, while Gary Harris had 15. Both were 2 for 2 from 3-point range.
Tied 46-46 with 12:43 to go in the game, Travis Trice hit a three then a lay up off a steal to give the Spartans the lead and set off a 14-4 run.