A capacity crowd of more than 23,000 people packed Rupp Arena early Saturday to watch two of college basketball's biggest brands -- UCLA and Kentucky -- play a non-league game that had been hyped for days.
They came to see three or four likely lottery picks.
They came to see an awesome point guard matchup.
But what almost none of them expected to do is spend the afternoon witnessing a rare home loss for John Calipari's Wildcats. They did exactly that, though.
Final score: No. 11 UCLA 97, No. 1 Kentucky 92.
Six Bruins finished in double-figures.
"You know going into Rupp it's going to be a crazy atmosphere and a great team," UCLA's T.J. Leaf, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, told CBS Sports analyst Bill Raftery in a postgame interview. "We knew that. But we just came in, gave it our all, played as hard as we could ... and got the win."
Here are five takeaways from UCLA's upset of Kentucky:
1. Don't let Lonzo Ball's ordinary stats fool you
Ball had three points, three assists, three rebounds and five turnovers in the first half. He finished with 14 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six turnovers while missing six of the eight 3-pointers he attempted. So, statistically speaking, this was the freshman point guard's worst game since enrolling at UCLA. But his fingerprints were still all over this victory. Anybody watching had to be impressed with Ball's instincts and playmaking/pass-making ability, which is what NBA scouts told me they loved in advance of Saturday's game. He struggled early and missed shots. But, for the final 30 minutes or so, Ball was very good.
2. Kentucky, as usual, was bad from beyond the arc
If UK has a weakness, it's inexperience and 3-point shooting. And the 3-point shooting is the bigger issue. The Wildcats entered shooting just 32.3 percent from 3-point range, which ranked 234th nationally. Against UCLA, they finished 8 of 24 from three. So they were right on their average. And that -- along with an ineffective defense that let UCLA shoot 53.0 percent from the field -- cost UK its No. 1 ranking.
3. Seriously, what was up with Kentucky's defense?
The Wildcats entered with the nation's third best defensive efficiency rating and had not let any opponent all season shoot better than 44.2 percent from the field or 33.3 percent from 3-point range. And yet UCLA shredded Kentucky possession after possession after possession. The Bruins shot 58.1 percent from two-point range and 43.5 percent from 3-point range. UCLA's effective field goal percentage was 60.6, which led Calipari to conclude, "We didn't have discipline defensively."
4. Good for Steve Alford
Alford was under so much pressure after last season's disappointing 15-17 season that he was compelled to undo the one-year contract extension he signed after the 2013-14 season and disclose as much in a letter to UCLA fans. Meantime, those same UCLA fans were flying a banner around campus demanding Alford's firing. It was all so weird -- especially considering Alford had made the previous two Sweet 16s and was about to enroll a recruiting class, highlighted by Ball, that would create a preseason top-20 team. But whatever. That's all in the past now. The present is nothing but good. Alford's Bruins are 9-0 with wins over the teams projected to finish first and third in the SEC (Kentucky and Texas A&M). They'll be in the top 10 of the AP and Coaches polls come Monday. So it's possible UCLA fans will chill ... at least until that zero in the loss column changes to a different number.
5. Yes, this really was a massive upset
Some might look at UCLA's top-15 ranking and perfect record and conclude this result wasn't that surprising. But those people would be wrong. Kentucky closed as an 11-point favorite. KenPom gave UCLA just a 17-percent chance to win. And then there's this: Calipari almost never loses at Rupp Arena.
His Rupp record on Saturday morning was 124-4.
Now it's 124-5.
That's an amazing fact that should highlight the unlikeliness of UCLA's upset.