Sixteen opponents who participated in post season last year, 15 home games, including two match-ups against the defending national champions, and a Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii highlight the 2007-08 Kentucky women’s basketball schedule, UK Coach Matthew Mitchell announced Wednesday.
The Wildcats are coming off their second consecutive 20-win season, going 20-14 and advancing to the third round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Kentucky’s three consecutive appearances in postseason play are a school record since women’s basketball came under the auspices of the NCAA.
Sixteen potential opponents on UK’s 2007-08 schedule participated in the postseason last year, including nine squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. UK also will meet five first-time opponents in South Carolina Upstate, Minnesota, William & Mary, South Alabama and Wofford. Nine games will be televised during the regular season. Four contests will appear on Fox Sports Net South and the Big Blue Sports Network will televise five additional games.
“I think it’s a very good schedule. It’s an exciting schedule for our players I know,” Mitchell said. “We get to play a couple of our in-state rivalry games that are exciting for our fans, but the players have a lot of pride in this program and a lot of pride in being at the University of Kentucky. To be able to play Louisville and Western Kentucky is a lot of fun. They’re both good teams and good programs that I think can help us get prepared for SEC play.”
The Cats have 15 regular-season home games, including four in Rupp Arena. UK will face intra-state rival Louisville on Dec. 20 and conference foes LSU (Jan. 27), Ole Miss (Feb. 7) and South Carolina (March 2) in the downtown Lexington venue.
The Wildcats play a pair of exhibition games against Kentucky Wesleyan (Nov. 1) and Ohio Girls Basketball Magazine All-Stars (Nov. 5) before opening the season against Atlantic Sun Conference member South Carolina Upstate.
Kentucky travels to the nation’s capitol on Nov. 14 to face 2007 Atlantic 10 Champion George Washington. The Colonels went 28-4 last year and were a perfect 14-0 in league play. The Wildcats then return home to play host to Sunbelt Conference member Florida Atlantic.
The Cats will celebrate Thanksgiving in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 23-25 when they participate in the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic. The Wildcats face Minnesota on Nov. 23 and will square off with either Texas or Virginia on Nov. 24. The Cats’ opponent on Nov. 25 is to be determined.
“The tournament in Hawaii is going to be a lot of fun and also a chance to compete against high-level competition with teams like Minnesota, Virginia, and the University of Hawaii,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to be a good test for us and it gives us a good opportunity to play three games in three days, so that’s going to test our ability to be mentally tough early in the season.”
Kentucky returns home to face in-state rival Western Kentucky, a 2007 WNIT participant, for the first time since the 2003-04 season, before playing host to William and Mary. The Wildcats travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Dec. 8 for a showdown with Big 10 Conference member Michigan.
The Battle of the Bluegrass returns to Lexington as Kentucky and Louisville meet on Dec. 20 after UK’s break for final exams. The Wildcats then get a return game with perennial power Old Dominion after beating the Lady Monarchs 69-55 in Norfolk, Va., last season. UK closes out the calendar year by traveling to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama of the Sun Belt Conference.
Kentucky rings in the New Year on Jan. 1 by playing host to border-rival Xavier in Memorial Coliseum for the first time since 2004-05 when UK defeated the Musketeers to reach the final four of the WNIT. The Cats’ final non-conference tune-up comes on Jan. 7 when UK faces first-time opponent Wofford College.
“I think Xavier is going to have an outstanding team that will test us as well,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to have a lot of opportunities to play against high-level competition and see where we are, and be prepared to go into the Southeastern Conference knowing that we’ve been challenged by some of the very best teams in the country.”
Kentucky begins conference play by hosting Florida, led by first-year head coach and UF alumna Amanda Butler, as the Wildcats will play three of their first four conference games at home.
“The SEC schedule is probably the most exciting it’s been since I’ve been associated with Kentucky basketball,” Mitchell said. “I think we’ll have the toughest schedule in the conference of anyone. I don’t know who has a tougher SEC schedule by playing both teams that will probably be picked to win the conference. Playing them twice gives us a tremendous opportunity to play the best teams and show people that we’re one of the best teams as well.”
Highlights of the conference schedule include home-and-home series with perennial national powers LSU and Tennessee. UK will play host to the Lady Vols in Memorial Coliseum and welcome Auburn and Ole Miss at home, two teams that defeated UK the last time they were in Lexington.
The 2008 SEC Tournament returns to Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center for the third time and the first since 2004. The four-day event takes place March 6-9.
All UK Hoops games will be heard live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) and ukathletics.com.
Additional Highlights of the Schedule Include:
UK will honor its seniors on Sunday, March 2, during senior-day ceremonies prior to the Wildcats facing South Carolina in Rupp Arena.
Alumni Day is set for Feb. 17 vs. Alabama.
In the rotating SEC 14-game schedule, the Cats will face LSU, Tennessee and South Carolina in home-and-home series this season. UK will play LSU and Tennessee in a two-year rotational home-and-home series. South Carolina remains as the Cats' permanent SEC home-and-home opponent.
Kentucky will play four home games in Rupp Arena this season (Louisville – Dec. 20, LSU – Jan. 27, Ole Miss – Feb. 7, South Carolina – March 2).
Kentucky will meet five first-time opponents in South Carolina Upstate, Minnesota, William & Mary, South Alabama and Wofford.
Nine games will be televised during the regular season. Four contests will appear on Fox Sports Net South and the Big Blue Sports Network will televise five additional games.
2007-08 University of Kentucky UK Hoops Schedule
Date Opponent TV Site Time
Nov. 1 (Thurs) Kentucky Wesleyan (Exh.) LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 (Mon) OGBM (Exh.) LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Nov. 10 (Sat) SOUTH CAROLINA UPSTATE LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 (Wed) at George Washington Washington, D.C. 5:15 p.m.
Nov. 18 (Sun) FLORIDA ATLANTIC LEXINGTON 2 p.m.
Nov. 23-25 at Jack In The Box Rainbow Wahine Classic (N1) Honolulu, O‘AHU
Nov. 23 vs. Minnesota 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 24 vs. Virginia or Texas 9:20 p.m.
Nov. 25 Seventh Place Game 5 p.m.
Fifth Place Game 7:10 p.m.
Third Place Game 9:20 p.m.
Championship Game 11:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 (Fri) WESTERN KENTUCKY BBSN/FSN South LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 (Tues) WILLIAM &MARY LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Dec. 8 (Sat) at Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 (Thurs) LOUISVILLE BBSN/FSN South LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) 7 p.m.
Dec. 28 (Fri) OLD DOMINION LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Dec. 30 (Sun) at South Alabama Mobile, Ala. 7 p.m.
Jan. 1 (Tues) XAVIER LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 (Mon) WOFFORD LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 (Thurs) * FLORIDA LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 (Sun) * at Mississippi State Starkville, Miss. 3 p.m.
Jan. 17 (Thurs) * TENNESSEE LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 (Sun) * AUBURN BBSN/FSN South LEXINGTON 1 p.m.
Jan. 24 (Thurs) * at South Carolina FSN South Columbia, S.C. 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 (Sun) * LSU FSN South LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) 2:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 (Thurs) * at Georgia FSN South Athens, Ga. 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 (Sun) * at Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. 3 p.m.
Feb. 7 (Thurs) * OLE MISS FSN South LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) 7 p.m.
Feb. 14 (Thurs) * at Vanderbilt Nashville, Tenn. 8 p.m.
Feb. 17 (Sun) * ALABAMA (Alumni Day) BBSN/FSN South LEXINGTON 1 p.m.
Feb. 21 (Thurs) * at LSU Baton Rouge, La. 7 p.m.
Feb. 24 (Sun) * at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. 3 p.m.
March 2 (Sun) * SOUTH CAROLINA (Senior Day) BBSN/FSN South LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) 1 p.m.
March 6-9 SEC Tournament (N2) FSN South/ESPN Nashville, Tenn. TBA
March 22-25 NCAA Tournament (N3) Predetermined sites TBA
March 29-April 1 NCAA Tournament (N4) Predetermined sites TBA
April 6 & 8 Final Four (N5) Tampa, Fla. TBA
All times Eastern and subject to change * All games played in Memorial Coliseum unless otherwise noted
* Southeastern Conference game * BBSN- Big Blue Sports Network (TV/Radio) * FSN – Fox Sports Net South (SEC-TV)
N1- Honolulu, Hawai’i (Stan Sheriff Center)
N2- Nashville, Tenn. (Gaylord Entertainment Center)
N3- NCAA Tournament 1st & 2nd Rounds at eight predetermined sites: Albuquerque, N.M. (The Pit/Bob King
Court); Baton Rouge, La. (Pete Maravich Assembly Center); Bridgeport, Conn. (Bridgeport Arena at Harbor
Yard); College Park, Md. (Comcast Center); Des Moines, Iowa (Wells Fargo Arena at the Iowa Events
Center); Norfolk, Virginia (Ted Constant Convocation Center); Stanford, Calif. (Maples Pavilion); West
Lafayette, Ind. (Mackey Arena)
N4- NCAA Regionals: Greensboro Regional: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum); New Orleans
Regional: New Orleans, La. (New Orleans Arena); Oklahoma City Regional: Oklahoma City, Okla. (Ford
Center): Spokane Regional: Spokane, Wash. (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena)
N5- Tampa, Fla. (St. Pete Times Forum)