Kentucky Basketball: World shocking Lady Cats earn No. 6 NCAA seed

Kentucky players celebrate by the SEC championship
Kentucky players celebrate by the SEC championship /

When the SEC portion of the Kentucky basketball women’s schedule kicked into gear, the Wildcats got stuck in reverse and lost 8 of 9 games, but surged into fifth gear eventually knocking off the top three seeds in SEC Tournament and played their way into a No. 6 seed.

The Wildcats (19-11) have won 10 games in a row and will go for No. 11 on Saturday in Bloomington where they will face No. 11 Princeton at 4 PM. They are ranked No. 16 in the latest AP Poll that came out last week.

They became the darlings of the college basketball world and talk of nearly every publication, talk show, and message board of their inspiring story.

Truth be told their performance even made it into my full-time jobs’ company’s weekly HR communication to over 3,000 employees did make me quite proud.

Can the Kentucky basketball women’s squad keep their magical run going

Kentucky started 2-0 in the SEC but seemed to completely lose its way and fall apart destined for the depths of the conference. But Kyra Elzy’s team found life, chemistry, and its focus and picked up steam.

When the SEC Tournament got underway Kentucky was the No. 7 seed but that didn’t deter them as they abruptly marched over Mississippi State, LSU, Tennesse, and then a 64-62 win over No. 1 South Carolina in the championship. It was Wildcat’s first title in 40 years.

If you missed the incredible moment watch the entire clip below. It’s worth watching to the end.

Now they are set for the deja-vu feeling bracket before them. Click here for the complete bracket.

This will be the third time the Cats are a No. 6 seed in the event and the 17th all-time appearance for Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. The Cats are 2-2 all-time as a sixth seed and the last time they were six seed was in 2019 when they defeated Princeton in the first round in Raleigh, N.C., before falling to No. 3 seed NC State.

They face off with Princeton and the No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport region non-other than N.C. State. But the path for those two to face-off is a rough one.

UK would first have to go through Princeton, then most likely No. 3 Indiana on their home floor where the Hoosier beat them earlier this season. Win both and you earn a date with No. 2 seed UCONN in Bridgeport, Conn., and then N.C. State.

Look kind of familiar.

The Wildcats are 13-3 all-time in first-round games and have won 12 straight and are peaking at the right time as Kyra Elzy has her team in the tournament in both of her years at the helm.

When clicking and playing together as they have of late this Wildcat team is a dangerous one that has garnered a lot of talk especially after the brackets were unveiled.

Led by Cleveland, Tennessee’s Rhyne Howard who very well could be the No. 1 WNBA draft pick and is averaging 20.6 points per game with 7.3 rebounds per game. Howard leads the team with  68 3-pointers to go with 101 assists, 71 steals, and 39 blocks.

She has gotten a lot of support from Compton, California junior redshirt forward Dre’una Edwards who is tallying 16.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.  She popped in 27 points against South Carolina along with grabbing nine rebounds. She was also the hero of the game splashing home the game-winning 3-pointer with just over 4 seconds to go.

The others that make this team go are freshman guard Jada Walker who is averaging 10.4 points per game with 32 3-pointers, while senior guard Robyn Benton is averaging 9.0 points per game and has 24 threes made this season. Senior guard Jazmine Massengill leads Kentucky this season handing out 138 assists.

This is the first time the women’s bracket has had 68 teams matching the men. ESPN will televise every game including the championship at the Target Center in Minneapolis on April 3.

Don’t miss tuning in you never know what you might miss.