But, in reality, this wasn't a game that Baylor should feel any regret over. The Lady Bears found out how deep they could dig. Which was important, because there were more questions about Baylor going into this season than any other top program. How would they do without Brittney Griner and the other seniors who'd logged so many minutes the past four years? Would they be able to solidify a new identity by NCAA tournament time?
Friday's game gave this current group something that belongs to them. It has nothing to do with the past. It's a signature game for Baylor 2013-14, even if the Lady Bears didn't win it.
And what of Kentucky? The junior O'Neill put on a dazzling show that befits her Big Apple personality (she's from the Bronx). And she did so off the bench.
This is the fourth time this year that the Wildcats have topped the century mark in scoring. Coach Matthew Mitchell has been very outspoken in recent seasons about wanting the Wildcats to be more than a team that wins primarily with disruptive defense. He really wants them to have an offense that is fun to watch.
The Wildcats might walk away from this game thinking they probably should have put it away earlier. But they know that they didn't let up, either, and that they've learned something about themselves, too.
And for those of us watching … wow, it really did happen. Now it goes into the record books. We didn't know what kind of game it was going to be. We figured it could be entertaining. But 263 points of entertaining?
It's safe to say this unforgettable December gem was an early holiday present we were not expecting.