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

The opening sport 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 sport motion and twice needing game-saving buckets to pressure additional time.

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

Kentucky (2-1) bought a team-high 22 factors and 18 rebounds from Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning nationwide participant of the yr who got here off the bench in his season debut after lacking the group’s first two video games with an harm. But Tshiebwe was in foul hassle late and bought 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) bought 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 sturdy begin to the season with 18 factors and eight boards, and Tyson Walker had 14 factors, 9 of which got here in 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 nicely, shot free throws at an incredible clip and methodically was in a position to put on down UK. The win strikes Michigan State to 2-1 on the season, however of be aware, that might very simply be 3-0 with two wins over top-five groups. Remember: it had a take 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 profitable formulation that ought to qualify them as a top-10 group in faculty 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 not less than some stage of concern that it’d take some ramping up for him as he aimed to make a return.

But no.

Tshiebwe got here off the bench and fully balled out in the loss, turning in 22 factors and 18 boards in 34 minutes of motion. He regarded pretty much as good — and possibly higher — because the previous Tshiebwe we noticed final season that took dwelling Player of the Year honors. If he can keep wholesome and proceed enjoying like this, I believe Big Blue Nation, regardless of the loss, has to really feel actually good about its prospects shifting 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 in opposition to 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 count on from a recruit of his caliber, however the massive one was this: eight steals. Eight. That’s tied for probably 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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