The ball was released from about 25 feet on the run and for a second you flashed back to Chris Chiozza in the Garden or Chandler Parsons against South Carolina or any other of the hundreds of shots you have seen players make from long range to win a game in March.
It was a good look, which is all you can ask for on a buzzer-shot.
Had it gone in, all would have been forgiven.
The blown 18-point lead.
Kentucky playing harder and smarter down the stretch.
The rebounding that became invisible.
It would have all been forgotten.
But it rimmed out.
And then it teased almost as it was taunting, sitting on the rim for just a split second before falling away.
And just like that, Florida had lost to Kentucky in another one of those wild and wacky SEC games where a big lead is simply a launching point for the important part of the game.
“I don’t feel good about much right now,” said Mike White.
The Florida coach has seen this before, coming and going, a great 15 minutes followed by a terrible one, a scoring drought that also shows up on the defensive end.
The incredible comebacks and the incredible tent-foldings.
He’s experienced wins that have turned into losses and vice versa. This was the most painful of them all this season.
This was a chance to beat Kentucky. It didn’t matter that the Wildcats were playing without the head of their snake because Ashton Hagans needed the day off.
This was a chance to beat Kentucky. This was a chance to get the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament and improve seeding in the NCAA Tournament and all that.
But this was a chance to beat Kentucky, to beat the blueblood, to beat the SEC champs.
Instead, Florida did the things you can’t do with a game on the line.
“We played tired,” White said.
And there was a reason for that. Here are the minutes played for four of his starters:
* Andrew Nembhard 37:45.
* Scottie Lewis 36:23.
* Keyontae Johnson 34:45.
* Noah Locke 33:29.
In an intense, physical and emotional game, Florida couldn’t make the plays at the end. That included a turnover by Nembhard with 3.4 seconds to play.
“Maybe I should have played more guys,” White said.
But I get it. When it’s going good — and, man, was it going good — you want to keep the flow going. When the opponent starts to rally, you want the guys you can trust on the floor.
One of those guys was not on the floor for almost the entire second half. Kerry Blackshear Jr. could not have had a much worse Senior Night with zero points and an injured left wrist.
He might have made a difference defending Nick Richards, who was awful in the first half and sensational in the second half. Certainly, he could have helped the Gators on the boards in the second half where they were embarrassed 19-7.
It was fitting that the game-winner came on an offensive rebound, this one a tip-in by EJ Montgomery that had to be reviewed with 11 seconds to play.
After an eternity of waiting, referee Doug Shows emerged from behind the headsets and signaled the basket counted. He did so with the enthusiasm of a football coach who just saw his play call go for a touchdown.
It got loud. There were a lot of Kentucky fans in the O-Dome.
For the Florida fans who bothered to show up (there were a lot of empty seats considering the team was trying to win its 20th game), this was another bizarre loss in a bizarre season.
We even had the comic relief of UK coach John Calipari thinking he was kicked out of the game only to return.
“I thought I was gone,” Calipari said, “and I wasn’t happy about it.”
But like everything else, so much that went right Saturday eventually went wrong.
“We didn’t do all bad things,” said Locke. “We did some good things.”
But as has often been the case with a team that seems to think Groundhog Day is a national holiday, not enough of them.
“It’s frustrating,” White said, “and we don’t have a lot of time left.”
And the ticking is deafening.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.