The night Azia Bishop and her three senior teammates showed up at Matthew Mitchell's house following a disappointing loss at Mississippi has become part of Kentucky women's basketball lore.
The seniors told the coach he had not been doing enough to enforce the internal standards that had allowed Kentucky to rise from irrelevancy to perennial NCAA Tournament team.
"(They said) I needed to be much more focused with our younger players," Mitchell said. "I told them at that point in time, I appreciate it, but you can't come in here and tell me that and then you not uphold our standards."
On the Saturday night before No. 2 seed Kentucky faced No. 7 seed Dayton in the NCAA Tournament, Bishop violated the team's 11 p.m. curfew.
Mitchell suspended the 6-foot-3 frontcourt player for Sunday's game. As it happened, Bishop's suspension ended her career.
In a wild shootout that was long on entertainment and short on defense, Dayton finished Kentucky's season with a 99-94 victory before 3,320 fans in Memorial Coliseum.
Dayton lit up Lexington with a blistering display of shot making — 30-for-53 (56.6 percent) from the field, 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) on three-pointers, 28-for-31 (90.3 percent) from the foul line. So it is the Flyers (27-6) who will advance to the Albany Region round of 16 against either Louisville or South Florida.
As for Kentucky (24-10), its season ended in a most fitting manner. If Tubby Smith's 2001-02 UK men's team lives in Wildcats history as Team Turmoil, Mitchell's 2014-15 Cats deserve to be remembered as Team Distraction.
Bishop's suspension was just the last in a season filled with turbulence.
In the preseason, freshman Jaycee Coe and junior college transfer Ivana Jakubcova were in a car wreck. It left both with concussions and the latter with a broken leg.
There was the abrupt early season resignation of an assistant coach, UK saying Christian Stefanopoulos stepped down due to health issues.
Kentucky's roster was in constant flux due to injuries. Senior post player Jelleah Sidney missed 14 games with bad knees. Senior wing Bria Goss missed six games due to a broken left thumb. Starting point guard Janee Thompson saw her season end Jan. 11 with a torn ACL.
Even guard Makayla Epps (29 points Sunday), who emerged as a star in her sophomore season, battled a painful injury to her Achilles tendon that limited her effectiveness at times.
Then came the suspension of Bishop for an NCAA Tournament game.
"I hate that it is the way her career ended," Mitchell said. "I know she feels terrible about the situation. I feel terrible about the situation. If you are in my shoes, you must do the right thing. If you don't have integrity, you don't really have a program."
Bishop will forever wonder if her presence on the court could have extended UK's season — and her career. Missing the Toledo, Ohio, product and her 53 blocked shots deprived the Kentucky defense of its rim protector.
"I don't know whether that lost the game for us or not," Mitchell said. "We'll never know."
In the big picture, this was a transition season for UK Hoops. Kentucky lost starting post players DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker off last season's round-of-16 team to graduation. It tried to integrate redshirt freshman Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and true freshmen Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice to replace them.
Inconsistent interior play helped create a roller coaster of a season, one that saw Kentucky beat national powers Baylor, Louisville and South Carolina but lose to so-so foes such as Illinois and Mississippi.
Over the past six years, Mitchell has built Kentucky into one of the 15 best women's hoops programs in the country. The longer it takes him to break through to a Final Four, however, the more people are going to question whether his guard-reliant system can get you there.
The university is doing all it can to help. UK has agreed to serve as host of a women's NCAA Tournament regional in each of the next three years in Rupp Arena. That means Kentucky, if it earns the right to also play host to the first two rounds in Memorial Coliseum by being a top-four seed, could conceivably reach a Final Four without leaving Lexington.
"We've just got to keep working," Epps said. "We can't settle for this feeling, because this feeling hurts."
As for the 2014-15 Cats, a crazy season ended with a wild game — and one last disruption.