Yes, Senior Night at Kentucky is special.
Yes, Senior Night is full of pomp and circumstance and joy and tears.
Yes, the seniors should be the focus, but don't tell UK's seniors that.
Not Thursday night before they have a pivotal rematch with South Carolina in Memorial Coliseum.
"This is not a night where we need to get nostalgic at all," Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "This team has a ton to accomplish. ... We need to beat South Carolina to get a whole lot of things accomplished."
UK senior point guard Amber Smith said she's put out a mandate to fellow seniors Keyla Snowden and Crystal Riley, who will be honored at the annual pre-game ceremony.
"I already told them, 'Don't cry,' Smith said on Friday. "Win and then cry. I told Keyla to keep it together. ... We know how important this game is and how important it is to win an SEC championship."
Snowden balked a little at Smith's "no crying" policy.
"I cried for everyone else's Senior Nights and I'll probably cry at mine, but this is definitely about winning," the former Lexington Catholic standout said. "We want to win an SEC championship. That's the main thing we're all focused on."
In the past few years, there's been a big "win one for the seniors" speech from Mitchell before the game.
But the coach said the players know what's on the line when the No. 13 Cats meet South Carolina (20-7, 9-5 SEC), statistically the best defensive team in the conference, holding opponents to 49.9 points a game.
Kentucky (22-5, 11-3) is tied atop the SEC with Tennessee.
The Lady Vols face Arkansas and Florida in Knoxville in their final two games. UK gets USC and then a trip to Mississippi State on Sunday to close out the regular season.
If UK wants to win at least a share of its first SEC championship in 30 years, a win on Thursday is a must.
"Obviously, it's not our last game of the season, but it's a really, really big game," Smith said. "There's so much on the line."
But she said she didn't want her teammates to feel any added pressure to win one for the seniors.
"I want all of us to play for each other like we've been doing all season," Smith said.
Mitchell said he likely will not start his seniors, with the exception of Smith.
Snowden and Riley have been key players off the bench all season for UK.
"With so much on the line tomorrow night, I think those kids want to win an SEC championship and they want to beat South Carolina more than they want to do anything ceremonial," he said.
With a win on Thursday night, UK would go undefeated in Memorial Coliseum this season. It would be the second time in three seasons that the Cats managed to do that but only the third time in school history.
They have won 19 straight at home, including a win over Duke in Rupp Arena earlier this season. The streak is the third longest in school history.
To go unbeaten at home with a win on Senior Night would be huge, Snowden said, calling it "beyond special.
"Just going out having an undefeated season as a senior at home," she said. "I'm pretty sure everybody's going to play really hard and send us out in the right way."