Terrence Payne

AMES, IA - DECEMBER 1:  Gary Clark #11 of the Cincinnati Bearcats passes the ball around Darrell Bowie #10, and Matt Thomas #21 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half of play at Hilton Coliseum on December 1, 2016 in Ames, Iowa.(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Cincinnati upsets No. 19 Iowa State

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There was no Hilton Magic on Thursday night.

Cincinnati scored the last four points in the final 2:24 of overtime to upset No. 19 Iowa State. It was the first time in 38 games that a non-conference opponent came into Ames and left win a win.

The Cyclones have dropped two straight, while the Bearcats landed a signature, non-conference road victory.

Iowa State led for the most of the night, but left the door open for Cincinnati at the end of regulation and in the final moments of overtime. The Cyclones hadn’t scored in almost 90 seconds when Matt Thomas came up with a steal with less than 30 ticks to play. However, he got trapped just over half court, and quickly turned it over. Jacob Evans later converted on a game-tying bucket.

The Cyclones still had time for a final possession, but instead of Monte Morris attacking a defense that had not yet set up, they settled for a Naz Mitrou-Long three. He was one of two starters who did not score on the evening.

In the extra frame, Iowa State took a 54-51 led with 2:24 remaining after Deonte Burton cleaned up Morris’ missed fastbreak layup. However, in the ensuing possessions, Burton and Morris both settled for isolation jumpers. In between those two plays was a layup from Kevin Johnson, that cut the deficit to 54-53, and a pair of free throws by Evans that put the Bearcats up 55-54. Again, Iowa State was left with time to produce another Hilton Magic-esque ending. Even with 20 seconds remaining, they waited too long, and had to settle for another 3-pointer from Mitrou-Long that was off the mark. A scrum unfolded on the ground, and while Iowa State was looking for a held ball, the officials determined the clock expired.

Iowa State’s last two losses have come with questionable decisions down the stretch. In the AdvoCare Invitational championship game on Sunday against then-No. 11 Gonzaga, the Cyclones, who nearly erased an 18-point second half deficit, failed to get a shot off on the final possession despite having 14 seconds to work with. Thursday night’s late-game execution wasn’t any better.

In the end, Cincinnati landed a rare win inside Hilton Coliseum. This is an important victory, especially after Mick Cronin’s team blew a halftime lead against then-No. 21 Rhode Island in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off two weeks ago. That loss meant the Bearcats either had to defeat No. 19 Iowa State inside Hilton, or knock off No. 18 Butler inside Hinkle Fieldhouse the following week in order to score a marquee win before AAC play.

The Bearcats did the former, and could possibly be back in the top-25 by the time they take on the Bulldogs on Dec. 10.

USC’s Bennie Boatwright out six weeks

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USC sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright left Wednesday night’s 76-55 win over San Diego with what was believed to be an MCL injury.

That was confirmed by the program on Thursday night, announcing that the 6-foot-10 Boatwright will be sidelined approximately six weeks.

Boatwright is averaging 10.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for the Trojans this season.

USC is off to a 7-0 start, with wins over Texas A&M and SMU, although the jury is still out on both of those teams. The Trojans haven’t played the most challenging of schedule, and even without Boatwright, they could enter Pac-12 play at 12-0. The toughest game remaining on the non-conference slate is a neutral floor matchup against BYU, however that game is played at the Staples Center, a jump shot away from the USC campus.

The absence of Boatwright does leave Andy Enfield with a bit of thin frontline. Fortunately, its anchored by Chimezie Metu and Nick Rakocevic.

USC takes on BYU on Saturday, the nightcap of the Hoophall LA doubleheader. The event begins with Arizona vs. Gonzaga.

Quinndary Weatherspoon’s season isn’t over

COLLEGE STATION, TX - FEBRUARY 24:  Quinndary Weatherspoon #11 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs drives with the basketball during their game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Reed Arena on February 24, 2016 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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Ten days ago, Mississippi State announced that sophomore guard Quinndary Weatherspoon was being shut down, as he required season-ending surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist.

The news put a halt to a potential breakout season for the 6-foot-4 guard. However, on Thursday night, hours before the Bulldogs tipped off with Oregon State, the program’s Twitter account sent out this tweet:

This clip, via Michael Bonner of the Clarion Ledger, shows his non-shooting wrist wrapped:

Weatherspoon is averaging 18.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game in four appearances this season. He has missed the past two games since he suffered the injury during second half of the Bulldogs’ 78-74 win over Boise State in the Charleston Classic. Weatherspoon played two days later against UTEP.

Mississippi State (4-2) has six more non-conference games before the start of SEC play.

Miles Bridges out for a few weeks with ankle injury

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Miles Bridges #22 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Michigan State’s frontline has been plagued by injuries since the start of the preseason.

On Thursday, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo announced that the injury bug has struck again, this time biting the one player the Spartans can’t afford to lose. Miles Bridges, the ultra-talented freshman forward, will miss a couple of weeks due to an ankle injury, according to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

The 6-foot-7 Bridges leads the Spartans in minutes (32.5), points (16.6), rebounds (8.5) and blocks (1.5) per game. Bridges won’t be lonely on the Michigan State sideline. Graduate transfer Ben Carter is believed to be out for the season due as he recovers from knee surgery this past October, while Gavin Schilling has been out of action with a knee injury of his own. The program has yet to determine whether or not he will play this season.

Michigan State is coming off a grueling month, in both schedule and in travel. The Spartans are 4-4, losing all four games to teams ranked in the top-20. Not a single of one of those contests were played in East Lansing.

December began an extensive homestand for Sparty, which was looking to make the necessary adjustments before Big Ten Conference play against five teams that combined for a 16-18 record (10 of those victories belong to the final two teams in that span: Northeastern and Oakland).

Perhaps the absence of Bridges will force another member of the team, most likely Eron Harris, the 23-year-old redshirt senior, to grab the reins.

Michigan State begins its homestand on Saturday in a matinee against Oral Roberts.

Northwestern sophomore undergoes surgery

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21:  Dererk Pardon #5 and Rapolas Ivanauskas #14 of the Northwestern Wildcats defend a shot by Jarrett Allen #31 of the Texas Longhorns in the second half of the 2016 Legends Classic at Barclays Center on November 21, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Northwestern sophomore center Dererk Pardon underwent surgery on his right hand on Thursday, the school announced.

Pardon injured his hand in the second half of Monday night’s 65-58 win over Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The program will reevaluate him at the end of of this month, before the start of Big Ten Conference play.

The 6-foot-8 Pardon was averaging 6.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.6 blocks per game, shooting 58 percent from the field, for the Wildcats. With freshman forward Rapolas Ivanauskas out for the season with a shoulder injury, the frontline will be a bit thin for the remainder of the non-conference slate as Aaron Falzon and Gavin Skelly will do some heavy lifting, while freshman big man Brett Benson, who is only averaging 3.0 minutes per game, will get a chance to see more game action.

Northwestern enters this weekend’s contest against DePaul at 5-2.

Gavin Schilling’s status to be determined ‘in a couple of weeks’

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - JANUARY 10:  Gavin Schilling #34 of the Michigan State Spartans dunks the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at the Bryce Jordan Center on January 10, 2016 in University Park, Pennsylvania.  Michigan State won 92-65.  (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
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Come Monday, No. 24 Michigan State will drop from the rankings.

The shorthanded Spartans are 4-3 on the season, and went 2-1 this past week at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Michigan State is a young team with a frontline hampered with injuries.

Ben Carter, the graduate transfer from UNLV, was ruled out indefinitely with a knee injury back in October. Gavin Schilling, the returning starter, suffered a non-contact injury in the same month, requiring knee surgery for the 6-foot-9 big man.

The original hope was to have him back by the start of Big Ten Conference play. According to Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said a final decision will be made on Schilling’s status in the next couple of weeks. There is a chance he could be sidelined for the season, according to Quinn.

“(Team doctors) are not going to take any chances,” Izzo told MLive. “I think they’re going to probably make a decision in a couple of weeks.”

Schilling averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game as a junior. He was expected to return to the starting lineup — he made 33 starts as a sophomore — after Deyonta Davis declared for the 2016 NBA Draft following his freshman season.

Due to a thin frontline, anchored by talented freshman Miles Bridges, the Spartans have failed to outrebound their opponent in more than half of their games this season.

Michigan State travels to No. 6 Duke on Tuesday for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Blue Devils are also without key pieces in the frontcourt, as Mike Krzyzewski has once again ruled out Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden.