Going into Saturday's showdown with UCLA, Kentucky's defense was among the stoutest in the country, third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, which accounts for pace.

Speaking of pace ...

UCLA came into Rupp Arena and hung 97 on the Cats (final score UCLA 97, Kentucky 92) on Saturday -- which isn't just the most points Kentucky has surrendered this season, but the most its has ever given up under John Calipari.

One of the most difficult assignments Kentucky may draw all season was/is guarding Lonzo Ball, who wasn't dominant Saturday but did plenty to keep Kentucky on its heels. Take this last shot of the first half, for example, where Kentucky switched big man Bam Adebayo onto Ball, who proceeded to hit the Steph Curry-like step-back three.

After that play, they started trying to crowd Ball further out in response to the range, and Ball made them pay by breezing down the baseline for an easy lay-in. On this one, they have a choice to either close out on a potential 3-point attempt, or play off and expect the drive. It's s a lose-lose.

Every time Kentucky looked like it was going to get on one of its runs, UCLA made a play to take back control or at least hold the Cats at bay. It all added up to Kentucky's first non-conference home loss since 2012 (it was exactly 1,463 days ago to Baylor), which will probably have some critics singing about how the Cats haven't really faced a top-notch challenge this year, and now that they have, they've somehow been exposed.

Listen, UCLA is going to expose a lot of teams this year. If we didn't know that before this game, we certainly know it now. But Kentucky is fine. The Cats put up 92 points of their own. Calipari said he wanted to see his team in a tight game to see how they responded, and in that way I'd say Kentucky passed the test. They were right there all game with an obviously explosive team in UCLA.

The Cat made big shots to stay in it.

UCLA just made more.