It is not going to get any easier anytime soon.Coach Matthew Mitchell knows it, his players know it, the fans know it. And their opponent, South Carolina knows it as well. UK has to win out if they want to capitalize on what has been an amazing season. But it could go away much faster than it came with a slip up in Memorial Coliseum Thursday night. In much the same way the men headed into Starkville knowing that their chances at immortality, and not just success were on the line, the ladies know it as well.
Don't get me wrong, if the UK women never won another game this season until the tournament started, it would still have been a successful season. But there are just a few tidbits of unfinished business that need to be addressed to make this truly a season to remember.The tie breaker scenarios are mind boggling, but here is David Hooper's take on how they play out. If I discern his take correctly, UK winning out and UT winning out virtually guarantees UT the #1 seed, but a tie for the Reg. Season Champ.It is some good work, so have a look for yourself after you are done here.
After the jump, we will cover the reasons NOT to be tied in detail...
So, now it is time to lay everything on the line and make the transition from good to great in the world of women's basketball. But UK cannot do that until they do a few more things:
1) An undefeated home season is on the line. Those are few and far between. In fact, until UK had done it in the 2009-2010 season, it had been 29 years for UK between undefeated home seasons. Home cooking is never better than when it is served up and forced down your opponents' throats. UK needs to beat S.C. for that undefeated home season.
2) The SEC Regular Season Championship. Winning at South Carolina means that UK will force Tennessee to win out to keep pace with them for that. UK has not taken a regular season SEC Championship since 1982. Thirty years is far too long. Time for that streak to end with UK carrying the SEC Regular Season Championship home.
3) Ending Tennessee's reign as "Queens Of Everything SEC Basketball Related". Yes, it is petty and small and vindictive, but it is time. In order to keep the pressure on Tennessee to win in order to keep pace, we have to win this game. We have the right coach, the right players, and the right circumstances. We had a small glitch, but that is over. Time to take over Women's Basketball the same way we reign over the Men's Basketball world.
4) South Carolina has the best scoring defense the SEC has to offer. They only allow 49.9 pts. per game. That is not much. UK has the tightest pressure defense. Time to see which is better. UK needs to show everyone that they are back in the driver's seat.
5) We need another win to build on before we travel to Starkville. Everyone saw how ugly Starkville was for the men? It will be just as bad for the women.
6) We need that #1 seed in the SEC Tourney. Those are important. Now is not the time to stumble.
7) Coach Matthew Mitchell needs this win. He needs every victory he can get right now to validate his system. And those ladies need to believe in it wholeheartedly going into the SEC Tourney, and the NCAA Tourney after that.
8) UK still has an outside shot at a #1 (highly unlikely) or #2 (unlikely, but possible) seed in the NCAA Tourney. Winning out the regular season and winning the SEC Tourney would put them in a very good place to do just that.
9) UK should not be losing to South Carolina at home at this point in the season. If we are as good as advertised, this game should be a W in the books. I am not saying overlook S.C., but we should have a game plan to put them away early and get this one overwith. We beat them there, we do not lose at home, hence, we beat them here.
10) It's Senior Night. You don't lose on Senior Night. Period. You just don't do it. We have three lovely ladies who have worked their tails off for the last few years to help get this team to this point. Now is not the time for a let down. Honor those Seniors the way they should be honored, with a W.
There will be no live blog for this game as there is alas, no TV yet again. May the spirits of Kentucky Basketball's storied past rise up to haunt those who are not putting these hard working ladies on TV for a very important game. Tip is at 7:00 PM. UK-IMG Radio has the call, and CBS Gametracker will wlso have live radio and ingame stats. Throw the stats out the window, lace em' up and go get this one ladies. It's your time.