The two teams battled back and forth through regulation until Kentucky appeared they had made all of the right plays late to seal the win. But the Wildcats gave up an uncontested dunk off of an baseline out of bounds play with 3.6 seconds left and were forced in to overtime.
After five more minutes of action, the Wildcats lost star center Oscar Tshiebwe to foul trouble but still — once again — felt like they had done enough to close out the game. However, they were again denied as Michigan State converted on another wide open dunk to force double overtime.
Stunned, gassed and missing Tshiebwe’s presence inside, Kentucky lost the second overtime period and were upset by the Spartans for their first loss of the season.
Thankfully, National Championships aren’t won in November. The Wildcats have plenty of time to build chemistry and work out their kinks. They’ll have a quick turnaround for a home matchup on Thursday night vs. South Carolina State. Tip-off is set for 7 pm ET with coverage on the SEC Network.
It’s difficult to name a game MVP for the losing team, but one would be a fool to deny how great both Cason Wallace and Oscar Tshiebwe played during Tuesday night’s game. Wallace put together a complete game, recording eight steals and playing consistent team defense while also scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing as many assists.
Tshiebwe fouled out at the end of the first overtime, but still managed to score 22 points and grab 18 rebounds in his first game back from injury. He also blocked four shots, handed out two assists and was a team-high +10 in the nine-point loss.