LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women's basketball team, fresh off its 18-point win over fifth-seeded Michigan State, will face top-seeded Nebraska Sunday, March 28 in the NCAA Sweet 16 in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
The game time is set for 30 minutes following the Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma matchup or approximately 10 p.m. (EST) on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com. The game also will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price. A live Gametracker, a live blog and FREE live stream will also be available on UKathletics.com.
Tickets are currently on sale through Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All-session books are $48 for adults and $20 for youth (ages 0-18). Single session are $25 adult; $15 youth (0-18).
UK (27-7) has compiled an outstanding resume en route to the most successful season in school history. The Wildcats have charted the most wins in school history (27), including a program-best 11 wins in the Southeastern Conference. Despite being picked to finish 11th in the preseason polls by media and coaches, UK finished second in the league standings and also had an impressive showing in the SEC Tournament. The Cats defeated Auburn and Mississippi State on their way to meeting No. 3 Tennessee to its first SEC Tournament final since 1982. The Wildcats have now advanced to their first regional semifinal game since 1982 with wins over 13th-seeded Liberty (83-77) and fifth-seeded Michigan State (70-52) in the opening rounds.
SEC Player of the Year and All-America candidate Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) has paced UK to its record-breaking season. The 6-1 junior forward averages a team-high 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.0 blocks per game. She is the only SEC player to rank among the league’s top three in scoring and rebounding. She also ranks among the nation’s leaders in steals (14th -3.2) and with three swipes vs. Michigan State she has tied the school’s single-season record of 104 with Leslie Nichols and Rita Adams. Dunlap also has dominated the low post, setting a single-season school record of 65 blocks. She is averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in two NCAA Tournament games.
SEC Freshman of the Year A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) also has been a key catalyst for UK’s success this season as she follows Dunlap in nearly every statistical category. She is averaging 13.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. The 5-9 guard dropped a career-high 32 points against Liberty in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, becoming just the 11th Wildcat in school history to score 32 or more points in a single game. In two NCAA Tournament games, Mathies averages a team-high 20.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. Mathies owns the UK freshman steals record with 86 and ranks in the top three of seven other rookie categories.
This is UK’s seventh overall bid in the NCAA Tournament, the first since 2006. UK, now 6-6 all-time in the Big Dance, looks to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1982. That year the Wildcats fell just one win shy of the Final Four, losing to eventual national champion Louisiana Tech on the Lady Techsters’ home floor in the regional finals.
Nebraska, the nation’s fourth-ranked team, earned its first-ever Sweet 16 bid after wins over Northern Iowa (83-44) and UCLA (83-70) in the first and second rounds, respectively.
The Huskers (32-1) secured their first Big 12 title in school history with an unblemished 16-0 league record. Their only loss this season came at the hands of Texas A&M in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament last week, 80-70.
The Huskers are led Big 12 Player of the Year Kelsey Griffin. The 6-2 senior forward is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy with averages of 20.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
She ranks among the top players nationally with her 60.7 field goal percentage and has charted a career-high 58 steals while adding 22 blocks.
Sunday will mark just the fourth meeting between the programs, the first since 1999. UK is 1-2 all-time vs. Nebraska and owns a 1-0 advantage in the NCAA Tournament. UK defeated the Huskers in the first round of the NCAA West Regional in 1999, 98-92. It marked the first time in 17 years the Wildcats had won a first-round game in the Big Dance. The Cats are 4-7 all-time vs. teams from the Big 12.