The day started with College GameDay and ended with the Bledshow.
Kentucky beat Tennessee 73-62, but after 22,000 screaming UK fans packed Rupp Arena to watch ESPN's studio show Saturday morning, the main attraction Saturday night turned into more of a drama.
Like most good TV dramas, you need some conflict, with a bit of a cliff-hanger, and a crowd-pleasing hero.
The conflict: Tennessee's surprise 3-2 zone defense.
The cliff-hanger: Could Kentucky find a zonebuster?
The hero: Eric Bledsoe.
John Wall's swift sidekick had made just two of his previous 19 three-point attempts until all of a sudden Bledsoe drained important back-to-back threes to give the host Cats some separation, turning a nervous four-point margin into a 66-56 cushion.
The freshman finished with 16 points, hitting five of nine shots from the floor, including three of six from behind the three-point line.
"Eric just showed so much courage in what he did and how he played," said UK Coach John Calipari.
"Show" being the operative term of the day, starting with ESPN's College GameDay, featuring Rece Davis, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps, and a record crowd of crazies filling Rupp just to set another record.
Of course, if Digger is in the house, you know Kentucky is going to win.
Not that this was a no-doubter, mind you. Those who thought/hoped the GameDay momentum would carry the Cats to an easy vanquishing of the Vols were disappointed. This was no Big Blue blowout.
Give Bruce Pearl the credit for that. The Vols coach, the man in the orange jacket, threw a surprise 3-2 zone at the Cats. "To tell you the truth," said Calipari, "we weren't ready for it."
So gears were grinding the first 20 minutes. Tennessee is not a bad defensive team in any defense. Pearl's zone gave Kentucky trouble. UK shot just 35.7 percent the first half, including just 2-for-9 behind the three-point stripe. Halftime score: Kentucky 30, Tennessee 29.
It was nip-and-tuck through the first part of the second half, as well. UT's backup point guard, the 5-foot-9 Melvin Goins, stood tall, sinking threes, scoring on backdoors, keeping the Rupp Arena crowd chewing its nails. The Vols led 52-50 with 10:12 remaining.
As the clock ticked down, Tennessee started to lose its grip a bit. Playing hurt, Wayne Chism did a fade route. Scotty Hopson, playing under the weather, struggled to reach double figures. Goins took a heat check, finally missing shots.
Kentucky seized the (Game)day. In a 20-4 run that turned a 52-50 deficit into a 70-56 lead, the dynamic duo of Bledsoe and Wall accounted for all but two of those points. Bledsoe scored 10. Wall scored eight.
Yet the biggest six came when Bledsoe drained those successive threes that seemed to drain the juice out of the Big Orange.
"Those were big shots," admitted Pearl.
It was pout night for Big Cuz. Frustrated without flow, DeMarcus Cousins could never really rock the rim. "We got too many guys still acting like freshmen, because they are," Calipari said.
But even veteran Patrick Patterson, while more aggressive, ended up with just 10 points and seven rebounds.
It was DeAndre Liggins who provided another big lift with seven points, four rebounds and four assists. And at the under-four-minute TV timeout, Calipari provided the sophomore with an impromptu chest-bump.
"He's as valuable to our team as anybody right now," said Calipari.
"I told him if he wasn't shooting, I'm taking him out," Calipari said.
By game's end, Tennessee was the team taken out.
Kentucky, said Pearl, "is finding ways to win."