Stop me if you've heard this one.
One half: Solid pressure on defense, good spacing and mvoement on offense. Locking horns with one of the nation's best teams.
Other half: Look like a cross between Iona and South Carolina, without Tre' Kelley. Make sure you surrender 70% shooting for most of the half, and miss your free throws. Also, stop doing any of the things you did well in the first half.
Today's 85-72 loss to the Gators -- the first six-game losing streak to any SEC team ever in the history of the program -- was a mirror image of most of the Cats' losses this year. They just couldn't do the things they needed to do and lacked intensity at crucial times.
When you're outrebounded handily on both ends, and you continue to find yourself beaten to lose balls, the issue isn't just coaching or talent, it's heart. One series typified the gap between the Florida matinstays and their UK counterparts. Bobby Perry -- who played well on offense -- is on Joakim Noah when Noah gets the ball, cuts up and under and tosses up a wild shot. But there's no backside rebounder, so Noah grabs his own miss and thunder dunks it in Perry's face as he stands there prone.
As an aside, it's also frustrating to see any college game called one-sidedly. And don't give me that garbage about "It went our way at Rupp." That doesn't make it any more right. It's a big grief with the SEC officiating in general and today's game in particular. Let the teams play to their abilities, not hamper the game by swallowing your whistle on one end and not on the other. I don't generally complain about refs -- I defy folks to find more than one post or two in this entire blog's archive in which I do -- but this one was a poor effort on the zebra's part.
That said, the refs are not the reason the Cats lost. The question on every UK fan's mind at halftime had to be, as it was for me, will they keep it up in the second 20 minutes?
Like most of the season in big games, the answer was, quite emphatically, no.
Next game is Thursday at 1 p.m. in the SEC Tournament.