Nov 12, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) scores over Kentucky Wildcats forward Alex Poythress (22) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky vs Michigan State final score: Sparty survives Wildcats’ second half surge to win 78-74

No. 1 vs No. 2 was definitely worth the bill of admission, as they say.

MSU’s guards Gary Harris and Keith Appling were magnificent with 20 points. They were helped out by big man Adreian Payne’s 15 points.

Kentucky’s Julius Randle was maybe better than anybody, the proverbial “diaper dandy” with 27 points and 13 rebound but didn’t get as much help from his team, although James Young did put up 19 and kept the Cats in the game in the first half. MSU coach Tom Izzo talked about Randle, calling him a “Chris Webber type” and a “beast” in the low post. He was ridiculous once he touched it.

Sparty ran out to a 10-0 lead right off the bat and didn’t turn it over for 15 minutes of game time in the second half. Those two factors fueled the Michigan State win, but the game really came down to the experience of Michigan State and a rebound. Brandon Dawson tipped a rebound in with just over five seconds left in the game to give the Spartans that four point lead.

Both teams have a long ways to go, but if they do happen to meet somewhere in the Final Four we should probably expect a similar game to what we got tonight.

Basketball is back and now we await Kansas vs Duke.

Tags: Basketball Kentucky Wildcats Michigan State Spartans