A showdown in the champions classic took place last night, and in a tough battle between Kentucky and Michigan State, Michigan State took the win. Any match-up that is set up with Kentucky vs. Michigan State is sure to be an exciting one, but this year was especially important since they were the top two teams in the country.
Michigan State won with a final score of 78-74, although the way the game played out, they should have won by much more. The two teams competed in a champions classic tournament, which took place in Chicago, and also included powerhouses Kansas and Duke, which could easily be the Final Four in a few short months.
The first half completely favored Michigan State, but eventually their foul trouble caught up to them, and Adreian Payne was facing 3 fouls early in the second half, and was forced to sit on the bench for much of it. After the Spartans jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and seemed to have complete control, the Kentucky Wildcats continued to do everything that they could to stay in it, particularly their young star Julius Randle.
The Kentucky-Michigan State game will be the first 1-2 matchup of AP ranked teams since Feb. 23, 2008. #MSUvsUK
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) November 12, 2013
Just finished watching some highlights of Michigan State's win versus Kentucky. Jesus, is Gary Harris good or what?
— Ben Gardner (@SpartanBen87) November 13, 2013
Kentucky's coach, John Calipari recently came out and said that it was unfair for his young players to have to play such an experienced team like Michigan State, and maybe he was right, especially during the first half. There was no doubt that the Wildcats would get back in the game, and coach Tom Izzo admits that they are a very tough team when saying "We made some mistakes in the second half, but that’s because they’re a good team."
Kentucky and Michigan State have combined for 3,674 wins, 23 Final Fours, 10 National Titles, and 1 first round NIT loss to Robert Morris
— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) November 13, 2013
Michigan state beat Kentucky!
— Panny Derkins (@DannyPerkins_) November 13, 2013
This was a big game for both teams, but as both teams and all the fans know, it is only the beginning of the season, and it is sure to be an exciting one, based on how this game played out. The veteran point guard Keith Appling certainly understands this fact, and said after the game "We want to be No. 1 at the end of the season, not the beginning." Well, they will now become No.1 at the beginning, the question is, how long will it last?
Kentucky vs. Michigan State proved to be an interesting game throughout, and while Kentucky came in as the No.1 team, the Spartans will be stepping up as the top team soon enough. While Kentucky has recruited a lot of young stars, including six who were McDonald's All-Americans, the Spartans also returned six of their top seven scorers, and are certainly no stranger to big games.
There are 68 NBA scouts in the building for tonight's Kentucky - Michigan State game. 68!
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 13, 2013