Go ahead and get used to this – the Kentucky Women’s Basketball program is in for a special season.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Charlie Creme released his first Bracketology projection for the upcoming women’s basketball season, and he has Matthew Mitchell’s squad as a three-seed in the Spokane region with a first-round matchup against Quinnipiac. With the way the women’s NCAA Tournament is setup, Kentucky would host the first two rounds of the tourney right here in Lexington.
Is it way too early to start thinking about tournament projections, considering we have no idea when the next season will begin? Absolutely. But that shouldn’t undermine the fact that the national media is beginning to join the hype about how good Kentucky could be once they can get back on the floor.
After the remainder of the 2019-20 season was canceled, Creme had the ‘Cats as a six-seed. Despite losing five seniors, they’re expected to improve significantly.
Creme mentions in an article related to his first Bracketology update that the ‘Cats could find themselves with an even higher seed as the offseason progresses. I’ve been harping on how important the immediate additions of transfers Jazmine Massengill and Robyn Benton would be if the NCAA does ultimately decide to allow it. Creme said that Kentucky, Arkansas, and UConn are the three teams in the country that would benefit most from an immediate transfer rule.
The ESPN analyst also projects South Carolina (top-overall seed), Mississippi State (two-seed), and Louisville (two-seed) to finish near the top of the seedings. The ‘Cats will play all three of those teams next year. What’s even scarier is that Creme believes eight SEC programs will make it into the tourney – more than any other conference. UK is going to have plenty of opportunities to prove they’re worth a top-three seed.
There is still plenty of work to be done for many teams across the country. The transfer market is still loaded with talent and recent coaching changes will influence other player decisions. Who’s to say Kentucky doesn’t add another player in the coming months? A lot can happen from now until the beginning of next season.
ESPN has already predicted that Rhyne Howard will be the best player in the nation for the incoming season, and her supporting cast will go two teams deep.