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UK women get No. 4 seed in Lexington regional, to host Belmont in NCAA opener in Memorial Coliseum


The No. 18 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team has been selected as an at-large team in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, claiming UK’s school-record eight straight appearance in the tournament. Fourth-seeded Kentucky (21-10) will face 13th-seeded Belmont in the first round on Friday at Memorial Coliseum. The game will air live on ESPN2 at Noon.
 
For the fourth year in a row, Kentucky was selected to host the first and second rounds of the tournament. The games will be held Friday and Sunday. The other first-round matchup in Lexington features fifth-seeded Ohio State against 12th-seeded Western Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

Members of the UK women’s basketball team were all smiles during an NCAA pairing party Monday in Lexington (UK Athletics Photo)

The Wildcats earned a No. 4 seed in the event, marking the third time the Wildcats have been a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. UK has earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament each of the last eight years. The last time UK held a No. 4 seed was in the 2011 tournament when it played in Spokane, Wash., defeating Hampton in overtime in the first round before falling 86-74 to North Carolina in the second round. In the 2010 tournament, the Wildcats were a No. 4 seed, defeating Liberty (13), Michigan State (5) and Nebraska (1) to advance to the Elite Eight before falling to Oklahoma.
 
“I think the kids are excited about the prospect of being in the Lexington Region,” UK coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We just met after the bracket was announced and the only thing that really matters for us is Friday and that’s the way you’ve got to go into it and look at it. We’ve got to get prepared because if you don’t get it done Friday, you certainly won’t get it done in Rupp Arena. You’ve got to take care of Friday and that’s what we’re worried about right now.”
 
Kentucky is 19-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 15-7 record under Mitchell. The best finishes for UK came in 2013, 2012, 2010 and 1982 when the Wildcats fell one win shy of the Final Four. Last season, UK fell in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats are one of seven schools nationally to advance to at least five of the last seven Sweet 16s. This is Kentucky’s 14th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 
 
Belmont (27-5) received an automatic bid in the tournament after winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Bruins went 16-0 in conference play this season behind scoring 77.8 points per game and limiting opponents to just 65.2 points per game. Belmont is outrebounding teams by 11.8 rebounds per game. Junior forward Kylee Smith is the team’s leading scorer with 15.7 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game, while three other players are averaging double figures. Sophomore guard Darby Maggard is averaging 14.4 points per game, while junior center Sally McCabe is averaging 12.4 points per game. The Bruins have used a big rotation as nine players have played in all 32 games.
 
Kentucky was one of eight Southeastern Conference teams awarded a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Monday. South Carolina earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the conference tournament, and is a No. 1 seed in the Stockton Regional. Mississippi State, Missouri, Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU are also going to the Big Dance.
 
Also earning No. 1 seeds are Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor. Connecticut and Notre Dame each won its respective conference regular season and tournament titles to receive automatic bids. The Final Four will be played March 31 and April 2 at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. 
 
Lexington Regional
Memorial Coliseum

First Round – March 17
(4) Kentucky vs. (13) Belmont, Noon, ESPN2
(5) Ohio State vs. (12) Western Kentucky, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets

All-session and single-session tickets for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds to be held at Memorial Coliseum on March 17 and 19th in Lexington are now on sale.

Tickets may be purchased online at ukathletics.com/ncaatickets, in person at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 800-928-2287.
All-session ticket prices are $36 for adults (ages 19-64) and $24 for youth (0-18) and seniors (65+). All-session tickets are valid for two games on Friday and one game on Sunday. Fans may not leave Memorial Coliseum and re-enter between games on Friday. Fans are encouraged to purchase all-session tickets to secure the best possible seats.
 
Parking

Spectator parking is located in all of the E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum are off control 3 hours prior to tip.  Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS2) are available 2 hours prior to tip.

The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street is available two hours prior to tipoff through three hours after tipoff.  Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up in the LR Cooke Lot near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King beginning two hours prior to tippff.

Parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots.  Vehicles parking in Residential lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.

Disabled spectator parking is available with a valid, state issues disabled hangtag in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) North of the Craft Center.  These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis until full.
 
Shuttle information

Shuttles are available beginning 2 hours prior to tip off and pick up and drop off near the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure # 5) (blue route) and near the LR Cooke Lot (green route).

Shuttles will start back up after halftime to return guests to their parking areas, the shuttle will discontinue service 1-hour post-game.

From UK Athletics


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