Kentucky hopes to build on impressive opening NCAA win

Maci Morris (Vicky Graff Photo)

Maci Morris (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After one of the best defensive performances in a NCAA Tournament game in program history, the No. 12 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks for more of the same when it faces sixth-seeded and No. 24 Oklahoma in a second-round matchup on Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.

The game will be televised regionally on ESPN2 with Cara Capuano and Carol Ross on the call. With several other NCAA Tournament second round games on at the same time, Kentucky will be a regional telecast available inside the states of Kentucky and Oklahoma and available on a whip around basis nationally.

Matthew Mitchell says Oklahoma has one big edge — coaching

Matthew Mitchell (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matthew Mitchell (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky plays Oklahoma tonight in Memorial Coliseum in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament for the right to advance to the Lexington Region in Rupp Arena.

Here is what coach Matthew Mitchell had to say at Sunday’s pregame press conference:

Guest post: Why I will always love Tyler Ulis

Kentucky fan Krystal Dittus of Florida knows exactly why she will miss Tyler Ulis so  much.

Kentucky fan Krystal Dittus of Florida knows exactly why she will miss Tyler Ulis so much.

Vaught’s  note: Krystal Dittus is a Kentuckian now living in Florida who has remained a die-hard UK basketball fan. She became a huge fan of Tyler  Ulis — as did many of you — and I asked her to share her thoughts on the Kentucky guard.


What is it about Tyler Ulis that made so many of us in Big Blue Nation love him so? His outstanding play has been analyzed countless times in interviews hosted by Tom Leach, discussed on KSR by Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond, and Mark Buerger once said the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show should be renamed the “Praise Tyler Ulis Show.”

Homers by Sagermann and Hinz Power No. 13 Kentucky to Series Win

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind first-inning home runs from sophomore Brooklin Hinz and senior third basemen, Nikki Sagermann, the No. 13 Kentucky softball team powered its way to a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium to win the series over the Rebels and move to 5-1 in Southeastern Conference play.

With Sunday’s result, Kentucky ups its season record to 25-4 overall and 5-1 in league play, matching its win total in the SEC from 2015, a season in which UK advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the fourth time in five years. Shannon Smith started the game in the circle for UK giving up one run on four hits, and senior ace Kelsey Nunley came into the game in the top of the fourth, earning the win on 3.2 innings pitched allowing one unearned run on just two hits.

Oklahoma coach worries about “crazy athletic” Kentucky

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

2016 NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship
Second Round · Oklahoma vs. Kentucky
Memorial Coliseum · Lexington, Ky.
Sunday, March 20


Sherri Coale, Oklahoma Head Coach:

On the Virgin Islands game against Kentucky last year…
“The teams are pretty different actually even though we have so many of the same players returning. I think about first of all that is was sort of Gabbi’s (Ortiz) welcoming to big-time basketball. She was going against (Jennifer) O’Neill, a great player. We wondered how she would handle that full court press for an entire 40+ minutes. She was terrific actually. It was kind of her coming out party as a true freshman point guard.

Tyler Ulis finalist for Naismith Trophy

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky sophomore guard Tyler Ulis is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the nation’s most outstanding player of the year.

Ulis is a finalist along with Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. Ulis is the only non-senior of the four.

Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, founder of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the women’s and men’s college basketball players of the year. This year’s trophy will be presented at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 3 in Houston, site of the Final Four.

What was Indiana’s defensive plan?

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Q. Tom, talk about your defensive game plan and the execution of it, please.
TOM CREAN: Well, I think the biggest thing is we couldn’t get caught up in, you know, a Tyler Ulis/Yogi Ferrell match-up, all right? There are so many guys on their team and we have guys, too, right? The best thing for us is the versatility of our team and the way they can guard multiple players, multiple positions.

UK vs Indiana Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff


Matthew Mitchell postgame comments after NCAA win

2016 NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship
First Round · Kentucky vs. UNC Asheville
Memorial Coliseum · Lexington, Ky.
Saturday, March 19


Matthew Mitchell, Kentucky Head Coach:

“We are really proud of our team today. A great victory. I’d like to congratulate and complement UNC Asheville. I thought preparing for the game and watching them, they clearly had a team with a lot of heart and a lot of fight. They played very, very hard. They had an amazing season. I don’t think that will be the last time you see them in a NCAA tournament. We have a lot of respect for them. I think our good play was fueled by a healthy respect for Asheville. They had a great season, and it was a really good year for them.

Six offensive fouls a first for John Calipari

John Calipari walks off after Saturday's loss. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari walks off after Saturday’s loss. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Q. John, their depth, I think they were 18-7 in bench points. Do you feel like their depth made a difference tonight?
JOHN CALIPARI: Yeah, but we had — and, again, we’re normally the most efficient offensive team in the country. There’s two things that happened. We had six offensive fouls. I don’t know if in my career I’ve had a team have six offensive fouls. Then we couldn’t make open shots so we have 8 assists. Like all these open shots we missed. We missed a ton of really good shots.