Today, UKAthletics.com announced Lexington as one of the locations in which the first and second rounds of the 2014 Women’s NCAA tournament will be played. The news also marks a program first for the Lady Cats, as this will be the first time that the first and second rounds will be played in Lexington for the Women’s tournament.
Today’s announcement also excites head coach Matthew Mitchell going into this upcoming season,
“I am thrilled to hear the NCAA Tournament is coming to Memorial Coliseum,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “This gives our players the incredible opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament at home in front of the loyal and passionate members of the Big Blue Nation. We will have to prepare properly and work extremely hard to qualify for the NCAA Tournament so we can take advantage of this awesome opportunity. I know our fans would love to watch the Wildcats play in the tournament in Memorial Coliseum. I want to thank Mitch Barnhart, Sandy Bell, Candice Chaffin, Ukari Figgs, Kevin Saal and the entire Kentucky administrative team that did the important work necessary to make this happen.”
Athletics director, Mitch Barnhart also sees how the Lady Cats are improving and how that excites him going into this season,
“The growth of this program over the last five years has warranted our participation in every way possible to host the post season in women’s basketball,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “The consistent appearances on a national stage, the support of an incredible women’s basketball fan base, and the enjoyable style of play that this team brings is a perfect combination for the growth of the game in women’s basketball in Lexington.
Matthew and Jenna provide incredible leadership for our program and are great ambassadors for our community. They deserve, as does this program, to host this kind of an event on a regular basis. We are very excited to bring the NCAA Tournament to Memorial Coliseum.”
Memorial Coliseum holds a maximum capacity of 8,000 fans and has been site of 10 Volleyball NCAA Tournaments. Kentucky also hosted the 1986 Women’s Basketball Final Four however, but that game was played in Rupp Arena.
Other NCAA Tournament locations include: Ames, Iowa; Baton Rouge, La.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; College Park, Md.; College Station, Texas; Durham, N.C.; Iowa City, Iowa; Knoxville, Tenn.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Storrs, Conn.; Toledo, Ohio; University Park, Penn.; Waco, Texas; and West Lafayette, Ind. The four selected regional sites are Lincoln, Neb.; Louisville, Ky.; Notre Dame, Ind., and Stanford, Calif.