Kentucky vs. Michigan State rating, takeaways: Spartans upset Wildcats in 2OT to spoil Oscar Thsiebwe’s return

The opening recreation of the Champions Classic on Tuesday lived up to the hype after which some as Michigan State upset No. 4 Kentucky in a double-overtime thriller. The Spartans outlasted the Wildcats 86-77 regardless of trailing for greater than 33 minutes of recreation motion and twice needing game-saving buckets to drive additional time.

Kentucky led early and regarded to be in management to open the sport, however in what was foreshadowing of issues to come, Sparty scratched and clawed its manner to the lead by halftime. The two groups traded blows in a see-sawing of momentum down the stretch earlier than Michigan State — twice trailing late — twice got here up clutch to drive additional time. In each situations, it was Malik Hall, who completed with 20 factors and 5 rebounds, who saved the day to drive additional time wanted to ultimately escape.

Kentucky (2-1) obtained a team-high 22 factors and 18 rebounds from Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning nationwide participant of the 12 months who got here off the bench in his season debut after lacking the group’s first two video games with damage. But Tshiebwe was in foul bother late and obtained his fifth foul in time beyond regulation. He was a team-high plus-10 when on the court docket for UK, however with out him Michigan State smashed on the boards.

Michigan State (2-1) obtained balanced contributions from everybody on the night time with 4 gamers reaching double figures led by Joey Hauser, who had 23 factors, and Malik Hall, who completed with 20 factors. Big man Mady Sissoko continued his robust begin to the season with 18 factors and eight boards, and Tyson Walker had 14 factors, 9 of which got here in the additional durations.

Here are three takeaways from the motion.

1. Michigan State appears to be like like a top-10 group

Against a star-studded Kentucky roster that is flush with expertise each younger and previous, Michigan State cleaned up on the glass, shared the ball effectively, shot free throws at an ideal clip and methodically was ready to put on down UK. The win strikes Michigan State to 2-1 on the season, however of word, that might very simply be 3-0 with two wins over top-five groups. Remember: it had a have a look at the buzzer on Friday to take down No. 2 Gonzaga that simply did not fairly go down. Tom Izzo has a veteran membership that’s disciplined, can shoot the leather-based off the ball and actually grinds on groups defensively. That’s a successful formulation that ought to qualify them as a top-10 group in school hoops proper now.

2. Big O is again

Kentucky described Oscar Tshiebwe’s preseason knee process as minor, however after lacking the group’s first two video games, there was at the very least some degree of concern that it would take some ramping up for him as he aimed to make a return.

But no.

Tshiebwe got here off the bench and utterly balled out in the loss, turning in 22 factors and 18 boards in 34 minutes of motion. He regarded nearly as good — and perhaps higher — because the previous Tshiebwe we noticed final season that took house Player of the Year honors. If he can keep wholesome and proceed taking part in like this, I feel Big Blue Nation, regardless of the loss, has to really feel actually good about its prospects transferring ahead. This younger group led by a few key vets, Tshiebwe amongst them, goes to be an issue as soon as it begins clicking.

3. Cason Wallace goes to be a monster

What’d Kentucky’s highest-rated signee from the 2022 class do in his first motion towards an influence convention opponent? He dominated. The 14 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists have been all standard-fare five-star standing, the sort you anticipate from a recruit of his caliber, however the massive one was this: eight steals. Eight. That’s tied for essentially the most by a Kentucky participant in program historical past, becoming a member of Ashton Hagans, Rajon Rondo and Wayne Turner.

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