While all the talk of today is of the top-10 matchup of the Duke Blue Devils and the Kentucky Wildcats squaring off in Catlanta in the Champions Classic, there will also be a top-10 game in women’s hoops featuring the Lady Wildcats, as Matthew Mitchell will lead his #6 Lady Cats to Waco, Texas to take on the defending national champions and top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears in the State Farm Tipoff Classic.
Mitchell has taken a Kentucky that was at the bottom of the SEC cellar annually, and enters the 2012-13 season with the program sporting it’s highest preseason ranking ever, and heavy favorites to win the SEC for a second-consecutive season. They’ll be led by senior guard A’dia Mathies, who will be complimented by 10 returning players including four starters from last year’s regular-season SEC title squad The Lady Cats made their 2012 debut with a 90-50 victory over Delaware State on November 10th, a gaame that saw the Cats used their signature full-court pressure to force State into 31 turnovers 17/48 (35%) shooting.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bears are led by arguably the greatest women’s hoops player of all-time in center Brittney Griner, as well as all five starters and three reserves from their 2011-12 National title squad. It will be quite a test for the Lady Cats, who are looking to advance to the school’s first Final 4 this year after advancing to two Elite Eights in the past three seasons.