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UK Hoops Puts Their Dancing Shoes On

before after Mitchell house

In a surreal experience for me tonight, Hayley and I traveled to Coach Matthew Mitchell’s brand new house in Lexington to watch the NCAA Tournament selection show with the coaching staff and the team. From the get go it was hard for us college kids not to “geek”. Being around the team and people we have covered since day one this season in a casual environment was something we were not used to, but got to like very quick. It’s very apparent the second you walk in the room the team and coaching staff love each other. Everyone was all smiles and joking around, which was a great sight to see after the teary eyed emotions last time we saw them in the SEC Tournament. The culmination of the evening was when ESPN announced the Kentucky women’s basketball team would be a two seed in the NCAA Tournament, facing Navy in the first round in Queens, NY. The game is on Sunday afternoon at 12:05 p.m.

After cramming in some great food from BHG, Hayley and I took a spot in coach’s basement right in front of the team. Freaking out about not only where the Wildcats would get seeded, our phones were about to die, making it absolute crunch time to get the celebration on video. Luckily, the Cats were placed in the second regional of the bracket, and Hayley was able to capture the good times live…take a look:

As you can see, starting point guard Jennifer O’Neill was ecstatic. O’Neill hails from Bronx, NY, just an hour away from where the Cats will be playing their first two games. When talking to the media after the selection show, she simply couldn’t stop smiling; excited for the chance to play in front of her home state, and to show off to her teammates what it means to live the “New York lifestyle”. This years tournament should be highly entertaining to watch, as the one seeds all have tough roads ahead of them if they want to make the Final Four once again.

Now onto the Midshipmenwomen. Navy is in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in three years by virtue of winning the Patriot League Conference Tournament as a two seed. They are 21-11 overall, and have no common opponents with the Wildcats this year. The Mids have struggled to score this year, averaging only 58.5 points per game, but their defense has been solid only allowing a little over 50 points a game. Coach Mitchell admitted he didn’t know much about his upcoming foe, but that him and his staff would do a lot of work in the upcoming week to prepare his team.

UK quadrant of bracket

Seventh seed Dayton (27-2) and host 10th seed St. Johns (18-12) will also be in Queens with Kentucky. Should UK make it to the Sweet 16 they would most likely meet either North Carolina or darling Delaware, led by hot shooting Elena Delle Donne. If the Cats advance to the Elite 8 again, there would be the possibility of a repeat of last years match-up with the UConn Huskies. Both Coach Mitchell and A’dia Mathies thought that potential game would be very interesting, after the Cats fell short in their hopes towards a Final Four last season. Kentucky made this year’s mantra #40MINS in response to the disappointing effort against Connecticut, and a rematch would be very fun to watch with a more talented and more hungry group of Wildcats. A link to the full bracket can be found here.

The biggest victory of tonight’s selection show? Avoiding Baylor. Kentucky would not have to face the Brittany Griner led Bears until the championship game, and that is a huge advantage when you are trying to make noise in the women’s college basketball tournament. Seven total SEC teams made the field of 64 (yes it is still 64), making Kentucky’s success in the league even more impressive. ESPN has already done some analysis on this year’s tournament, and many view the Bridgeport section as the most talented portion of the bracket, and some have already picked UK to upset Connecticut in the Elite 8. More upset minded experts have forseen a Dayton upset over Kentucky in the second round. The Flyers will be upset with their seeding despite their impressive record, and play a very similar style of basketball to the Cats.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the women’s tournament as the week goes on, and get ready for Kentucky as they play Navy on Sunday afternoon in Queens. As always, Go Cats.

@WilderTreadKSR

Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

12 Comments for UK Hoops Puts Their Dancing Shoes On



  1. racerX
    10:19 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    “divulge in some…” seriously?



  2. gotreadgo
    10:24 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    Good stuff. Hard work paid off with a nice spot in the tournament. Great coverage guys, this team deserves the spotlight. Keep it up.



  3. hmmm
    10:44 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    I guess I don’t understand, why is it that so many of these teams get to play at home?

    #9 Iowa in Iowa City
    #5 Colorado in Boulder
    #3 Texas A&M in College Station
    #2 Duke in Durham
    #1 UCONN in Storrs
    #7 Texas Tech in Lubbock
    #6 LSU in Baton Rouge
    #1 Stanford in Palo Alto
    #2 Tennessee in Knoxville
    #5 Louisville in Louisville
    #1 Baylor in Waco
    and the biggest head scratcher is #12 Gonzaga possibly playing at home until the final 4?



  4. Gypsy
    10:50 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    So proud of the UKHoops team! Good job Wilder & Hayley, look forward to your coverage of the tournament!



  5. mashburnfan1
    10:57 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    UNC as a 3rd has been blown out big time in 4 games including losing by 45 to Tenn and 3 other 20 point losses. If we get them in Sweet 16 just hope it is their off game.
    Daytons record looks good and they have scored over 90 and even over a 100 but only played two ranked {Depaul #25} and Vandy #13}teams. Beat Vandy 71-66 at Dayton. They should not give us much trouble if we play them.
    After this it is prolly UConn and hopefully our ladies will get revenge and go to New Orleans.



  6. Wilder Treadway
    11:00 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    The way the women’s tournament works…..
    You apply to host the 1st two rounds in the NCAA tournament years before it actually happens, and once that is approved, you automatically play at home no matter what your seed



  7. i hate iu
    11:01 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink


  8. Nybrasky
    11:26 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    So they might have to play St Johns @ St Johns in the 2nd round? Pretty lame, Millhouse.



  9. mashburnfan1
    11:37 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    9}just like 3 Penn St cold play LSU at LSU. #2 seed Cal may play someone on their home court. They at least try to give the high seeds, 1-2-3-4 a weak opponent like us getting a 10 seed if they beat Dayton. A 2 seed should beat a 10 seed anywhere in womens bball. Now 3 Penn St could have trouble at LSU but that is their problem.



  10. Linda Taylor
    11:49 pm March 18, 2013 Permalink

    8 – The bigger problem will be playing UConn in CT if we get that far. UConn has great fan support so it will definitely be an away atmosphere.
    5 – Dayton beat DePaul by 12. Our ladies beat DePaul by 32. We also beat Vandy twice, once by 22, once by 11.
    We have an excellent chance to get to the final four. Hopefully our ladies have freshened up with a little time off and will be ready to go Sunday. It should be a fairly easy tuneup against Navy.



  11. katzrjamers
    1:35 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    Hey UK Hoops – your team and coach don’t get the media attention or fanbase support you deserve, but for what it’s worth, I hope you all achieve the reward that is due athletes who work as hard as you. Let 2013 be your year. GO UK!



  12. RealCatsFan
    9:58 am March 19, 2013 Permalink

    You sure can’t accuse our men’s team of playing like girls, because that is an insult to our women’s team. If the men had played with 10% of the effort that the women put out every game, they would be a Sweet Sixteen team at least. Good luck, UK Hoops.