Winston County native leads UK to NCAA tourney

From school reports

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 10/11 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team earned its school-record fifth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, and 11th overall, with a No. 3 seed in the Notre Dame Regional. The Wildcats (24-8) will face 14-seeded Wright State in the first round Saturday, March 22 in Memorial Coliseum. The game will air live on ESPN2 at 10 a.m.

For the first time in program history, Kentucky has been selected to host the First and Second Rounds of the 2014 NCAA Tournament in the storied Memorial Coliseum. The games will be held Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Monday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m.

The Lady Wildcats are led by Winston County native Matthew Mitchell who is leading his team to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive time.

The No. 3 seed is the second in school history for the Wildcats, and first since 1983. The other first-round matchup in Lexington features No. 6 seed Syracuse (22-9) and No. 11 seed Chattanooga (29-3).

“It’s great to be back in the tournament and I’m really proud of our team for earning a bid in the NCAA Tournament,” Mitchell said. “It’s hard to do. It’s hard to go through a long season and play the kind of schedule that we played and get to this point, so I’m really proud of them. We obviously overcame some adversity throughout the season that has us prepared for the tournament. I’m really proud of our players, and really, really excited about the opportunity to play in another NCAA Tournament.”

UK is 14-10 all-time in the Big Dance, including 10-4 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 advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Navy (61-41), No. 18/15 Dayton (84-70) and No. 15/16 Delaware (69-62). The Cats fell to top-seeded Connecticut in the NCAA Regional finals.