Matthew Mitchell has a lot to smile about these days. - USA TODAY Sports
This is one of those "somewhat" unexpected games. Georgia knocked off LSU last night and they now want a shot at Kentucky.
The Georgia Bulldogs are going to be licking their chops for this one. Georgia flat out lambasted LSU last night to remove the Lady Tigers from the SEC Tournament no less than one round sooner than they were expecting to leave. Cream does rise to the top, however, and Georgia is a more talent-laden team and has NCAA Elite Eight and Final Four dreams in it’s collective head.
The only problem with that theory is that they have to go through Matthew Mitchell and the Kentucky Wildcats to do it.
Kentucky has become a women’s hockey team for the last few games. Mitchell has been running 5 for 5 substitutions, limiting his players to no more than 25-26 minutes per contest, and making his opponents literally chase the Wildcats all over the court. His Forty Minutes of Dread defense has bled over into the offense.
Mitchell was criticized early on this year for Kentucky’s perceived lack of an offensive plan, when he seemed to be relying 100% on his defense for both shutting down the opponent as well as providing opportunities for his offense. The team has now taken it to another level.
Now, instead of pressure defense and opportunity offense, Kentucky plays a pressure offense as well. Whereas before the offense could control the pace of the game by slowing it down at times, Mitchell now has them stepping on the accelerator on offense too. By making 5 for 5 frontline and backline substitutions, using 4 minute segments, and allowing players to stay no more than those 4 minutes, he has fresh legs on the floor at all times. The combination of speed, skill, and depth is allowing a fresh, rested, and hungry Kentucky team to take the floor against Georgia today.
Georgia is going to come in looking for the opportunity to up the ante on their NCAA seeding and making a run at an SEC Title. A’Dia Mathies and Company are going to be looking to put another team behind them and move on. When these teams last met, Georgia took away Kentucky’s home game and SEC winning streak as weill as their chance at an SEC regular-season title. UK is looking for payback tonight.
Kentucky wins this game 78-64. Mitchell’s ladies are not going to stumble here.