It was a great start for the Cats, as they quickly jumped out to a 12-6 lead after Sahvir Wheeler converted an and-one.
The Bulldogs would make a push, but the Cats were able to reclaim control, pushing the lead to double-digits with just over nine minutes left in the half as they led 23-13.
With several starters getting into foul trouble, it was the backups making big plays down the stretch, as the Cats took a 37-24 lead into the break.
The second half was another good start for the Cats, as they maintained their double-digit lead at the first media timeout, 45-33.
Mississippi State cut the lead to 47-38, but the Cats went on another run to push it back out to 53-38, forcing the Bulldogs to take a timeout.
The Bulldogs had another run in them as they would come all the way back to tie this one at 62 with just over four minutes to play.
The Cats and Bulldogs went back and forth down the stretch, but Kellan Grady missed the game-winner as time expired, sending this one to overtime at 72-all.
Overtime started out with little scoring by both teams before Grady heated up, scoring eight straight for the Cats and giving them the 80-74 lead with 1:12 remaining.
The Cats did exactly what they needed to do to close out the 82-74 victory, their 16th of the season and the 800th of John Calipari’s career.
The bench gave some solid first half minutes in the Cats’ win over the Bulldogs, but the starter that shined once again was Oscar Tshiebwe making him tonight’s MVP.
Tshiebwe has been a beast all season long on the boards and that was the case again tonight as he grabbed 12 rebounds in the first half alone. He went on to finish with 21 points, 22 rebounds, three steals, an assist, a block, and a steal.
When the game got close, it was Tshiebwe that kept getting big baskets and making free throws for the Cats.
In the final minutes of overtime, Tshiebwe once again had his say in the outcome of the game as he grabbed massive offensive rebounds that allowed Kentucky to close this one out.
Tshiebwe should be the front-runner for National Player of the Year and the BBN has known this for a while.