Last season left a lot of UK fans with a sour taste in their mouth after a 2-10 football season and a first round loss in the NIT for the men’s basketball team. While the two most “high profile” sports the university has to offer fell very short of expectations, if you were to flip the coin around and look at the women’s side of things, Kentucky accomplished some pretty impressive feats. The women’s basketball team advanced to their third Elite 8 in four years, the softball team advanced to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament, and the volleyball team made it to the Sweet 16. While many view this past year as a flop for UK athletics, they fail to realize the solid and steady progress the school has made for female athletics.
Let’s take a look and compare each sport that has a men’s and women’s team directly to see which gender really came out on top:
Men’s team: Finished 21-12 (12-6 SEC) and lost in first round of NIT
Women’s team: Finished 30-6 (13-4 SEC) and lost in Elite 8 of NCAA Tournament
Men’s baseball: Finished 30-25 (11-19 SEC) and did not make NCAA Tournament
Women’s softball: Finished 41-21 (13-11 SEC) and lost in Super Regionals of NCAA Tournament
Men’s team: Finished 22-12 (6-6 SEC) and lost in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament
Women’s team: Finished 13-12 (4-9 SEC) and did not make NCAA Tournament
Men’s team: Finished 10-9-2 and lost in first round of the NCAA Tournament
Women’s team: Finished 14-7-1 (8-5-1 SEC) and lost in second round of NCAA Tournament
Men’s Team: Finished 13th of 14 SEC teams and 10th out of 14 in NCAA Regional play
Women’s Team: Finished 5th out of 14 SEC teams and 12 out of 24 in NCAA Regional play
Since football has no female counterpart and volleyball has no male counterpart, those two well just be grouped together for comparison’s sake.
Finished 2-10 (0-8 SEC) with no bowl game
Finished 22-11 (14-6 SEC) and lost in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament
As you can see, out of all the major male/female sports UK has to offer, the only one in which the men’s team finished with a better season than the women’s team was tennis. I think it’s safe to say we can call the 2012-2013 sports year at UK “Year of the Ladies”. The women trumped the men in virtually every category.
The results this year should be vastly different, as the men’s basketball team brings in another number one recruiting class with added veterans, and the football team is rolling strong under new head coach Mark Stoops. Hopefully all the sports I included on this list can have successful seasons including runs in the NCAA Tournament, but time will only tell. Where do you think the most drastic difference on this list will be noticed from last year to this year?