The Senior Night that no University of Kentucky women's basketball fan will ever forget began with a surprising singer for a familiar song.
It ended with a group performance of a very different tune.
In between, was a Kentucky comeback victory for the ages.
Robin Dunlap was waiting for Thursday's senior festivities to begin for her daughter, Victoria, and teammate Carly Morrow when she heard a P.A. announcement before the Cats played Arkansas that dropped her jaw.
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"The announcer said 'Now, to sing the national anthem, Victoria Dunlap,' " the mother of Kentucky's star forward said. "I was like 'Whoa.' I had no idea she was doing that."
It turns out, battling Tennessee for the SEC Tournament championship or facing Duke in Cameron Indoor is not the one thing on a basketball court that can make Dunlap almost faint. Singing the Star Spangled Banner in front of 6,670 fans in Memorial Coliseum before your final home game as a Kentucky Wildcat is.
"I thought I was going to throw up," Dunlap said. "Like two minutes before, in warmups, I was thinking about (singing) and I thought I was going to pass out. Really nervous."
Let the record show that the player who has supplied so many memorable moments while wearing Kentucky blue came through one more time. No Christina Aguilera she, the senior from Nashville nailed the words and even hit (most of) the high notes.
"There were a couple of shaky spots," Dunlap said later. "But I thought I did pretty good."
She did way better than that.
"Pretty amazing," Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "I had no idea she was doing this. I had no idea she had that talent."
Yet the night that began with musical uplift seemed destined to end on a very sour note.
The Cats, having blown every bit of a 28-13 first-half lead, entered the final two minutes of the game trailing the Razorbacks 54-49.
In the final home game for Dunlap, perhaps the second-best player ever to play at UK, this was not the way the song was supposed to end.
The Cats rewrote it.
Kentucky scored the game's final six points — the last two on a twisting, left-handed layup from A'dia Mathies with 4.4 seconds left — and eeked out a 55-54 win.
On a night when Arkansas' 2-3 zone kept her largely at bay, Dunlap (12 points, seven rebounds, four steals) came up big when the Cats had to have her. The reigning SEC Player of the Year got the UK rally started with a follow shot with 1:10 left to pull the Cats within 54-51.
The tension in the Coliseum hung heavier than a swamp fog.
Pressing with ferocity, UK forced another turnover. Dunlap wound up with the ball under the UK basket and was fouled with 24 seconds left.
The 6-foot-1 forward came to Kentucky as a horrid foul shooter and made 39.6 from the line her freshman year. What she's become at the charity stripe is symbolic of the dramatic improvement Dunlap made in Lexington as a player.
She drained the first foul shot, then another.
Now it was 54-53 Arkansas. The Coliseum was roaring. The Cats were pressing with the hunger of lions.
Trapped in the backcourt along the left baseline, Arkansas' Lyndsay Harris sailed a pass cross court to teammate Yashira Delgado.
When the 5-foot-3 Delgado came down with the ball, her foot was on the right sideline.
Kentucky's ball, 17 seconds left.
Just as it did at the end of a last-second victory over LSU earlier, Kentucky put the ball in the hands of Mathies.
The stone-cold sophomore from Louisville worked through a double team near the top of the key, drove the ball right, then cut back hard to the left and got into the lane.
In the LSU contest, Mathies dished to a wide-open Brittany Henderson for the game-winner. This time, she took care of matters herself.
You build tradition in a college sports program winning games you really have no right to claim. Largely thanks to Dunlap, that's what UK Hoops is starting to do.
"Victoria likes a lot of drama," Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell joked afterward of Dunlap. "So she wanted her final (home) game to end just like this."
Taking a microphone at midcourt after the game, Mitchell invited Kentucky's fans to join the UK team in its victory tradition of singing the school fight song after wins.
Said Dunlap: "The fight song (sounded) way better" (than her national anthem).
For UK fans on this night, it all sounded so sweet.