The No. 4 Kentucky men's basketball team held two-point leads over Michigan State in the final seconds of both regulation and overtime, but the Spartans tied the game both times and ran away in double OT for an 86-77 win at the State Farm Champions Classic in Indianapolis.
Kentucky men's basketball star senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe starred in his 2022-23 debut Tuesday after missing the Wildcats' first two games following a right knee procedure.
Last year's consensus national player of the year dropped 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting, 18 rebounds and four blocks off the bench.
However, UK struggled offensively as a whole en route to the loss. The Wildcats shot 38.6 percent from the field and 7-of-25 from three-point range.
The second overtime was also disastrous for the Wildcats, who scored just one point in the final four minutes of the frame. They missed all six of their field goals and committed two turnovers.
That opened the door for MSU to pull away. Joey Hauser led the Spartans with 23 points, while Malik Hall added 20.
UK is a young and talented team that should improve and be a contender as the season goes on.
Michigan State, despite being unranked, is also an impressive team after nearly knocking off No. 2 Gonzaga and taking down No. 4 UK.
Ultimately, the Wildcats had their chances to emerge victorious but couldn't make the big shots or stops down the stretch. There's clearly room for improvement on a night where UK was on the doorstep of victory multiple times.
Chris Bolton @Chris_Bolton_12
FINAL (2 OT): Michigan State 86 #4 Kentucky 77<br><br>Tough loss for the Wildcats. It looked like they had the game won several times but missed free throws and untimely defensive breakdowns really came back to bite them. UK was 16-24 from the line <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBN</a>
Kentucky will look to bounce back Thursday when it hosts South Carolina State.