Nick Ward made the most of his limited time on the court.

Ward had 22 points and nine rebounds despite playing just 19 minutes because of foul trouble, helping Michigan State beat No. 16 Wisconsin 84-74 on Sunday.

"He's a big body. He's a load," Badgers coach Greg Gard said. "Nine for 12 versus 4 for 10 in our five-man (Ethan Happ). That tells it right there."

While foul trouble plagued Ward in both halves, Happ had only one foul in the first half and finished with eight points, six-plus points below his average, before fouling out.

Miles Bridges had 17 points and Matt McQuaid added a season-high 15 as the Spartans (18-11, 10-6 Big Ten) won for the sixth time in eight games, moving them into a third-place tie in the conference and perhaps sealing their spot in a 20th straight NCAA Tournament.

"We put ourselves in a position where I can look in the mirror and say we deserve some things," coach Tom Izzo said.

Michigan State's Cassius Winston had 10 points and eight assists and Joshua Langford had nine points.

The Badgers (22-7, 11-5) have lost four of five and lost a chance to pull into a first-place tie with No. 14 Purdue.

"It's not the end of the world," Bronson Koenig said after scoring 17 points in the setback. "We've been through this before."

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes scored 22 points, and Zak Showalter had 15.

Michigan State went on an 11-1 run midway through the second half, building a 12-point lead that it was able to maintain even while Ward and Bridges were sitting next to Izzo due to fouls.

"My teammates got it done when I was on the bench," Ward said. "When I can stay in the game, who knows?"

In the first half, the Spartans led 36-23 only to allow the Badgers to come back with a 15-4 run to pull within a point at halftime.

UCF 53, Cincinnati 49: B.J. Taylor scored 27 points and 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall had seven points and four blocked shots to help UCF pull off the upset.

It was the first time in nine meetings that the Knights defeated Cincinnati.

The Bearcats (25-4, 14-2) were trying to stay in step with American Athletic Conference-leading SMU.

The Knights (19-10, 10-7) won their fourth straight game and recorded their first win over a Top 25 opponent since defeating No. 4 UConn in 2011.

Butler 88, Xavier 79: Kelan Martin had another big game, scoring 25 points, and the Bulldogs followed their biggest road win of the season with yet another on Sunday, pulling away in the closing minutes for an 88-79 victory over Xavier.

The Bulldogs (23-6, 12-5 Big East) were coming off a 74-66 victory at No. 2 Villanova, one of the biggest road wins in their history. They kept the momentum with a strong finish, outscoring Xavier 19-8 down the stretch for their fourth straight win.

Gonzaga wonders how far it will fall

After top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga fell flat Saturday, losing 79-71 to Brigham Young, the Bulldogs know they will drop from the No. 1 spot in the Top 25 today.

They also might get bypassed as the No. 1 seed in the West Regional, where they were in the selection committee's preliminary rankings. Although the usual chorus of Gonzaga-is-overrated has already begun, since the Zags have wins over Arizona, Florida, Iowa State, Tennessee and Saint Mary's twice, it kind of falls flat.

"To be 29-1 and be where we're at?" coach Mark Few said. "We'd have taken that if offered every time."