CHICAGO, IL (WTVB) - Second-ranked Michigan State held on to beat number one Kentucky 78-74 last night in the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center. Branden Dawson's tip-in with less than 6 seconds left gave the Spartans a four-point lead to help seal the victory and allow MSU to knock off the nation’s top ranked team for the fourth time in program history.
Keith Appling racked up 22 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and four steals for the Spartans. Gary Harris added 20 points in the win and Adreian Payne had 15 points as Michigan State improved to 2-and-0. The Spartans were up by 13 in the second half before the Wildcats tied the game at 66 all just inside the 5-minute mark. Kentucky freshman Julius Randle posted game-highs of 27 points and 13 boards for the Wildcats, who fell to 2-and-1. Michigan State’s next game is Friday night at home against Columbia.
In the nightcap of the Champions Classic, #5 Kansas pulled away late for a 94-83 win over 4th-ranked Duke.