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Champions Classic: Michigan State shocks No. 4 Kentucky with 86-77 double overtime victory

Joey Hauser and Mady Sissoko led MSU to a victory on Tuesday night.

Champions Classic - Kentucky v Michigan State Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Michigan State men’s basketball defeated No. 4 Kentucky in a double overtire thriller on Tuesday night in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. The final score was 86-77.

After a slow start, both teams started picking up the scoring. For MSU, junior center Mady Sissoko, senior forward Joey Hauser, senior guard Tyson Walker and senior forward Malik Hall had big games for the Spartans.

Both teams traded leads at several points throughout the game. More often than not, however, Kentucky built a lead against Michigan State, then MSU came back to keep it close. Midway through the first half, Kentucky built a lead of 20-13 after Sahvir Wheeler’s layup. To follow, MSU went on an 8-0 run that was capped off by a three-pointer from Hauser.

Hauser finished the game with four made three-pointers (on seven attempts) and led MSU in points with 23. Also at double-digit point totals was Hall with 20 points, Sissoko with 16 points and Walker with 14 points. But the really big story was Hauser, who only had two points, free throws nonetheless, in the 64-63 loss to No. 2 Gonzaga last Friday night.

Sissoko also turned around and repeated his success he had against Gonzaga. He gained his fourth foul with 3:53 to go in the second half. Yet, he played until he was pulled out once MSU was assured the lead in the final seconds of double overtime.

Regulation ended at 62-62 after a slam dunk from Hall tied the game with just three seconds remaining. The first overtime also ended on a Hall dunk, this time with a single second remaining. Both of the dunks were set up by impressive inbound plays. Then the Spartans took care of business in the second overtime period.

Until the second overtime, Michigan State never had a win probability (per ESPN) of more than 55 percent. Yet, MSU held on for the victory. The Spartans took the lead in the final overtime and pulled out the win.

For Kentucky, center Oscar Tshiebwe was its top-performer at 22 points. One of the big changes in the game happened when he fouled out late in the first overtime period. Another top performer for Kentucky was Wheeler, who had 16 points. Cason Wallace had 14 points and Jacob Toppin had 10 points.

MSU turned the ball over 18 times (compared to 15 for Kentucky), most of those coming earlier in the game. But the Spartans tightened things up later on once the game started to come down to the wire.

With the win on Tuesday, Michigan State improves to 2-1 on the early season. Next, MSU will host Villanova at the Breslin Center on Friday night at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The game will air on FS1.