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 seemed to be in management to open the sport, however in what was a foreshadowing of issues to come, Sparty scratched and clawed its means 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 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) 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 crew’s first two video games with an damage. But Tshiebwe was in foul hassle late and bought his fifth foul in additional time. He was a team-high plus-10 when on the courtroom for UK, however with out him Michigan State smashed on the boards.

Michigan State (2-1) bought balanced contributions from everybody on the evening 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 additional intervals.

Here are three takeaways from the motion.

1. Michigan State seems to be like a top-10 crew

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 a fantastic 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 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 components that ought to qualify them as a top-10 crew in school hoops proper now.

2. Big O is again

Kentucky described Oscar Tshiebwe’s preseason knee process as minor, however after lacking the crew’s first two video games, there was at the least some stage 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 fully balled out in the loss, turning in 22 factors and 18 boards in 34 minutes of motion. He seemed nearly as good — and perhaps higher — because the previous Tshiebwe we noticed final season that took residence 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 crew 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 had been all standard-fare five-star standing, the sort you count on from a recruit of his caliber, however the large 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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