Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, November 12, 2013

There will be a new No. 1 next week, and assuming Michigan State can avoid an upset vs. Columbia on Friday night, it will be the Spartans atop the polls. But Michigan State didn't want to hear about that following its thrilling 78-74 victory over No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night at the United Center.

[ MORE: 5 great sights from No. 2 Michigan State-No. 1 Kentucky ]

"This game didn't mean anything," Gary Harris said. "We didn't win a Big Ten championship, we didn't win a national championship."

"Yeah, we want to be No. 1 at the end of the season," Keith Appling said, "not the beginning."

True as both comments are, this game did mean something. For the Spartans. For the Big Ten. And there's absolutely no denying it, either.

At the very least, this win gives the Spartans 1.) a resume-boosting win (yes, we can consider stuff like this in the second game of the year) and 2.) confidence they can beat any team put in front of them.

That means something.

And from a Big Ten perspective, the win does nothing but further the idea that the Big Ten is nation's elite conference.

Again, that means something.


Let's take a look at some of the biggest plays from the big win:

The game-sealer, courtesy Branden Dawson:

The momentum-shifter late in the game:

The highlight-reel alley-oop:

The tone-setter:

About Brent Yarina senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.