It was a back-and-forth affair all game, with Kentucky leading for the majority of the contest, but Michigan and star big man Hunter Dickinson always hanging around, never quite out of striking distance.
Cason Wallace was the man of the hour for the Wildcats across the pond, finishing with 14 points, including 4-4 from three, eight rebounds and five assists. Wallace also buried a late-game dagger three that put Kentucky ahead five with under a minute remaining.
Kentucky struggled to contain Dickinson down low, and although he is an elite big man, Kentucky allowed many easy baskets in the paint. That needs to be cleaned up, but Dickinson is more than likely the best big man Kentucky will see all season long.
For the Wildcats, they move to 6-2 on the season with a stretch in December to really work on things and get offense in tune and the defense in check.
They get five days off before taking on Yale next Saturday in Rupp followed by another chance for a big win against UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.
Here’s what Twitter had to say about Kentucky’s first big win:
Cason Wallace CLUTCH! pic.twitter.com/gfNu37XAMT— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 4, 2022
Kentucky had to have this game. Big win— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) December 4, 2022
Cason Wallace is a dog. He should be the primary late game option
Cason Wallace right now pic.twitter.com/cHKjCd36gR— Jordan Mathus (@JordanMathusCC) December 4, 2022
It was clunky at times, but this is a big one for Kentucky.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 4, 2022
Jacob Toppin 14 and 5, Oscar Tshiebwe 13 and 14, Cason Wallace 14, 8 and 5; Sahvir Wheeler 11 and 7.
Cats going to take this one from Michigan in London.
Kentucky crowd in London is better than the crowd at Rupp.— Zach (@ZachDavisShow) December 4, 2022
CASON TURNED THE O2 INTO THE O3— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) December 4, 2022
Do I hear C-A-T-S chants in London good win @KentuckyMBB— Tyty Washington (@tytywashington3) December 4, 2022
Sahvir Wheeler bailed Kentucky out with some big shots as the shot clock expired today. But if that’s Kentucky’s approach down the stretch in March then it’s going to be another frustrating spring. It worked out today but that’s not the recipe to win 6 games in a row.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) December 4, 2022
Calipari is obviously coaching this hold it, hold it, hold it, have Wheeler pull something out of his ass approach.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 4, 2022
It's a bad approach. Even when it ends well sometimes. That's a March loser. This isn't on Wheeler. It's on Cal.
The 2023 NCAA Tournament should be moved to Qatar https://t.co/eooBFNMlKM— cameron (@morrisoncrying) December 4, 2022
UK with the huge win over Michigan in London. Cason Wallace is the X factor for this UK season. Oscar will consistently give you what he does, but you need Wallace to play like he did today more often. #BBN— NKY Bracket Guy (@BracketNky) December 4, 2022
NEEDED THAT WIN! Cats get a tournament caliber win in a neutral site. Now onto learning how to get six in a row. A lot to work on, but a whole lot of good to work with.— Matt “Spikeball SZN” Sak (@MattSakBBN) December 4, 2022
I LOVE MY TEAM!!!!
Quality non-conference win for @KentuckyMBB. Finally this team starting to come together. Meanwhile, hopefully Jalen Llewellyn is OK after suffering a knee injury during the loss. @umichbball returns home from London to open @B1GMBBall Thursday at @GopherMBB.— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) December 4, 2022
Great one bbn— Davion Mintz (@deemintz1) December 4, 2022
No surprise but Cason Wallace is named Player of the Game after Kentucky’s 73-69 win over Michigan. Freshman was clutch, finishing with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists. pic.twitter.com/sZuzjHtuqu— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) December 4, 2022
Final from London: Kentucky 73, Michigan 69— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) December 4, 2022
Biggest takeaway - for Kentucky to reach its potential this year, they need Cason Wallace and Jacob Toppin to be All-SEC level players alongside Oscar Tshiebwe.
They were tonight - combining for 30 points.
MUCH needed with for UK
Kentucky gets its best win of the season thus far after losses to Michigan State and Gonzaga.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) December 4, 2022
Although still TBD whether this Michigan team will be more than a fringe NCAA tourney team. Best win for Wolverines is against Pittsburgh.
Cason. Wallace. pic.twitter.com/XqJEnLWUyq— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 4, 2022