Never mind the sights, what Kentucky basketball needs in England is a royal win over Michigan

Earlier this month, basketball took a 2,000-mile field trip to Spokane, Washington. It did not turn out well. This week, Kentucky travels 4,000 miles for another educational opportunity, this time in the original UK, i.e. London, England. The Cats need this trip to be a success.

After all, a team only gets so many shots at beating a big shot. John Calipari’s club air-balled its first two, gift-wrapping a double-overtime win for State in the Champions Classic before that jarring 16-point loss at Gonzaga. Sunday brings royal opportunity No. 3. Michigan is the opponent. London’s O2 Arena is the setting. ABC has the 1 p.m. coverage. That’s WTVQ locally.

Before packing bags for Britain, the Cats played Bellarmine in a Tuesday night tune-up.  won 60-41. The final score told only half the story. At intermission, the teams were tied at 21. (This was basketball, not football.) That’s the fewest first-half points by a Kentucky team at since ’s Cats trailed Kevin Stallings and 23-20 on Jan. 10, 2006. Vandy won 57-52. Luckily, 16 years later, Cal’s Cats did not suffer a similar fate.

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