No. 17 UK women open NCAA play against Princeton in North Carolina

Maci Morris (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 17 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team has been selected as an at-large team in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, earning the Wildcats’ ninth appearance in the last 10 seasons in the event. Sixth-seeded Kentucky (24-7) will face 11th-seeded Princeton (22-9) in the first round on Saturday inside Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. The game will air live on ESPN2 (regionalization applied) at 11 a.m. ET.

John Calipari: “We are as ready as we can be.”

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

No excuses from John  Calipari today about his team going into NCAA Tournament play Thursday night in Jacksonville against Abilene Christian.

“I think they’re in a great frame of mind. They’ve been that way,” the Kentucky coach said about his players on Monday’s SEC coaches teleconference. “They’re a young team, a lot of freshmen and even the veteran players have not been in this situation. PJ (Washington) has and he was a significant player (last year).

Kentucky one of seven teams picked for NCAA all-access series

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Big Blue Nation will have the opportunity to enjoy every step of the Kentucky men’s basketball’s NCAA Tournament journey with UK’s inclusion on the “NCAA March Madness Confidential” all-access series.

Beginning with Sunday’s Selection Show watch party at head coach John Calipari’s house in Lexington, a production crew will be embedded with the Wildcats throughout the March Madness run to document the excitement, preparation and work that goes on behind the scenes of the pinnacle of the college basketball season.

Guest post: Young fan shares her first SEC Tournament experiences

Brooklyn with April Peal in Nashville

Vaught’s note: Kentucky fans of all ages love the SEC Tournament. This year I got to meet sixgh-grader Brooklyn Swatzell of Calloway County and asked her to share some of her experiences. Enjoy the insights from a young fan about her impressions of her first SEC Tournament.

By BROOKLYN SWATZELL, Contributing Writer

Hi, I’m Brooklyn Swatzell. I’m a sixth grader at Calloway County Middle School in Murray, Ky., and I got to experience my first SEC Tournament this year. I went to the tournament with my cousin, April Peal, my aunt and uncle, Ricky and Ava Peal, and their friends, Jim and Karen Primm. We stayed at my cousin’s house in Franklin, TN, which is right outside of Nashville.

Jay Bilas says UK better off playing North Carolina than Virginia

Ashton Hagans, right, and Keldon Johnson hope they can celebrate NCAA wins in Jacksonville this week. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

ESPN analysts Dick Vitale, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams all have picked Kentucky to reach the Final Four, but only Williams picked UK to win the national title.

Vitale, Greenberg and studio host Rece Davis have all picked Duke to win the NCAA championship while analyst Jay Bilas, a former Duke player, picked North Carolina as his overall winner.

John Calipari knew UK only had “slim” chance to play in Louisville — and he was right

Kentucky players watched where the NCAA sent them to play. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky fans thought the Cats had a great chance to be placed in the South Region, where the semifinals and final will be played in Louisville.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he knew better.

“I mean I thought that there was a chance we play in Louisville. I thought it was slim, but it was none. None! Not happening, but that’s fine,” Calipari said Sunday after UK was placed in the Midwest Region as the No. 2 seed with North Carolina as the No. 1 seed.

UK NCAA Watch Party at John Calipari’s House Photo Gallery by Vicky Graff

Cats No. 2 seed in Midwest Region with North Carolina as No. 1 seed

Kentucky players wait for their NCAA seed to show Sunday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Upcoming NFL draft will make impact with UK recruits

Bunchy Stallings (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Bud Dupree was the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and brought some needed attention to the Kentucky football program when coach Mark Stoops was just starting his rebuilding effort.

“What Bud did a few years ago was good for the program but this year’s draft is going to be huge with Josh (Allen) and then what is going to occur after that. You are just going to keep seeing that Kentucky logo show up in the draft,” Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow said looking ahead to the April draft.

Kentucky-Tennessee Photo Gallery by Jeff Houchin