UK Hoops gets ready for NCAA Tournament

Though the UK women’s basketball team won’t know who or where it will be playing until March 14, the Cats are regrouping.

After being crushed in the Southeastern Conference Championship game by Tennessee 90-65, the Cats are looking to bounce back.

“We have had some tough times this year, some very deflating losses,” Mitchell said. “But each time, this group has been able to bounce back, this is another chance for us to bounce back and show the great character these kids have.”

But regrouping has taken time for these Cats. Losing seems to come in doses with UK, allowing one loss to turn it to another and at the beginning of the new year it turned into three losses.

Only twice when UK has los have they been able to avoid a second consecutive loss this season. The Cats are currently on a losing streak and if UK allows that losing streak to grow, it’ll mean an early end to its tournament run.

The Cats are currently ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 and will not play another game until the NCAA tournament, beginning on Saturday, March 19.

UK is currently projected as a four seed in writer Charlie Creme’s women’s Bracketology. Creme has the Cats playing No. 13 seed Princeton in the first round in College Park, Md., potentially playing the home team and five seed Maryland in the second round.

While nothing will be official until the selection committee decides on Selection Monday, the Cats could have a tougher road due to the NCAA allowing women team’s to host first and second round games.

Unlike the men’s NCAA tournament, women’s teams could play in their own home arenas in the first and second round.

That could be problematic for the Cats (24-8) who have struggled this season away from the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum.

Six of UK’s eight losses have come outside of Lexington and UK is just 8-5 in true road games this season. And while no NCAA tournament game will be a true road game, it could seem that way if it has to play a team that is hosting the first and second round, like Creme projects.

Creme wasn’t available for comment on what UK would have to do to move up for seeding, but since the Cats have no games remaining, one would assume it would need higher ranked teams to lose.

The three teams ranked above the Cats in the AP Top 25 all lost in its conference tournaments, which would appear to be positive news for the Cats, but the newest rankings already took the other teams losses into consideration.

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