And they were right.
Mississippi State never trailed and won 66-57 in a game that may well have wrecked Kentucky's once-promising season.
Worse yet, Mississippi State further exposed how to stop UK's offense. Meeks had 15 points - his third-lowest scoring game of the season and his lowest in SEC play - on 6-of-15 shooting and was a non-factor in the game. Patterson had 15 points and nine rebounds, but he was not a dominating force, either.
The rest of the Cats? They were a combined 9-for-32 from the field and could do nothing to take advantage of the openings Mississippi State gave them.
"It's all about modeling. They had played seven SEC games coming into this, and we saw how different people did things and what success they had," Mississippi State assistant coach Phil Cunningham said. "We put together a collage of what two or three other teams did and it all came together."
Cunningham, a Kentucky native whose mother sat behind the Mississippi State bench, admitted it was "pretty close" to a perfect defensive game. Jarvis Varnado had seven of the Bulldogs' 12 blocked shots, Kentucky was only 4-for-14 from 3-point range and the Cats got only two fast-break points.
"The guys did a good job because they have two guys who can really score. We kind of said we are going to make other guys beat us. It's not that those other guys can't beat you, but those two have been so good this year you can't let them beat you," Cunningham said.
No zone defense for Cats
Too bad Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie didn't trying something as creative or imaginative. Instead, he kept having his team try to force the ball inside to Patterson or set weak screens that never freed Meeks for open looks.
And Gillispie's stubbornness also hurt Kentucky on defense. His refusal to play anything but a man-to-man defense is ludicrous because these Cats can't consistently stay with quick players.
Mississippi State was 14-for-27 from 3-point range after going 18-for-49 from 3-point range in its two previous games. Time after time the Bulldogs got open looks and made them.
"They made shots," Gillispie said. "We didn't play like we were supposed to."
Whose fault is that?
"They played great and made a bunch of shots," Gillispie said.
Again, whose fault is that?
The Cats seemed lifeless for most of the game, something UK players would not deny after the game.
"We try to play with confidence. That's the only way to win at this level and I think we kept our confidence better than Kentucky did tonight," said Mississippi State's Phil Turner, who had 18 points and was 4-for-9 from 3-point range.
Gillispie said he didn't know if he might have "lost" this team after watching its lethargic performance.
"I think we played hard. We did not play very smart. Only time will tell on anything," Gillispie said.
But for Kentucky, time is running out. How many more games will Kentucky lose because a team spreads the floor and uses it quickness to get open shots?
How many more teams are going to do the same as Mississippi State and triple-team Patterson - and why was Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury the first to do the obvious?
"All you have to do is look at the stat sheet and see that you want those other guys shooting the ball and not Patterson and Meeks," said Stansbury, another Kentucky native who got his first win in six tries at Rupp Arena. "We can't do any better than we did on Meeks and Patterson tonight.
"But then you also have to make shots. Tonight we did and you (Kentucky) didn't. We're just happy to get out of here with a win."
And leave Kentucky contemplating what has gone wrong so quickly.