UK women hit with tough SEC schedule

jsmith3@herald-leader.comAugust 17, 2012 

Kentucky Wildcats guard Bria Goss (13) pushed the ball up court ahead of LSU Tigers forward Theresa Plaisance (24) in the first half of the Kentucky vs. LSU semifinal game of the Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament on Saturday, March 3, 2012 in Nashville, TN. Photo by David Perry | Staff

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  • UK women's schedule

    Home games in capital lettersTimes to be set at a later date

    Date Opponent

    Nov. 5 x-BELLARMINE

    Nov. 10 DELAWARE STATE

    Nov. 13 At Baylor

    Nov. 17 HIGH POINT

    Nov. 23 MOREHEAD STATE

    Nov. 25 S. CAROLINA-UPSTATE

    Nov. 28 MIAMI (Ohio)

    Dec. 2 At Louisville

    Dec. 7 y-DEPAUL

    Dec. 9 MIDDLE TENN. STATE

    Dec. 18 At Pepperdine

    Dec. 21 At UC Santa Barbara

    Dec. 28 ALCORN STATE

    Dec. 30 MARIST

    Jan. 3 FLORIDA

    Jan. 6 At Alabama

    Jan. 10 Texas A&M

    Jan. 13 At Missouri

    Jan. 17MissISSIPPI State

    Jan. 20Auburn

    Jan. 24 At South Carolina

    Jan. 27 LSU

    Feb. 3Georgia

    Feb. 7 At Arkansas

    Feb. 10 At Vanderbilt

    Feb. 14South Carolina

    Feb. 18 At Texas A&M

    Feb. 24 At LSU

    Feb. 28 At Mississippi

    March 3Tennessee

    March 7-10 z-SEC Tournament

    x-exhibition; y-in Rupp Arena; z-at Duluth, Ga.

Kentucky will not have an easy road in its quest to repeat as regular-season Southeastern Conference champion.

In the SEC women's basketball schedule released Friday morning, it was revealed the Cats will have to face two likely top-25 opponents, Louisiana State and Texas A&M, twice each.

With league expansion, the SEC relied on a random computerized system to pair the teams with their home-and-away opponents. Kentucky had the (un)luck of the draw to get LSU and the newcomer Aggies.

In ESPN's early pre-season rankings, Kentucky is ranked No. 5, behind Baylor, Connecticut, Duke and Maryland. Texas A&M is ranked No. 17.

Also, LSU seemed to have UK's number last season, beating the Cats twice, including knocking them out of the SEC Tournament. Kentucky's permanent home-and-away opponent, South Carolina, remains the same.

One of the games with Texas A&M, on Feb. 18 in College Station, will be part of the Play 4Kay campaign and will be included in ESPN's Big Monday slate (7 p.m. on ESPN2).

According to the pre-season rankings, the next-best SEC team is Georgia, which will visit the Cats on Feb. 3.

The beginning and the end of the SEC schedule are complicated for Kentucky as well. The Cats go eight straight games before their first bye, the Thursday before that meeting with the Bulldogs. And at one stretch in February, UK will play five of six games on the road (with one bye in there as well).

Kentucky foes ranked in the pre-season poll are No. 1 Baylor (Nov. 13); No. 9 Georgia (Feb. 3); No. 11 Louisville (Dec. 2); No. 17 Texas A&M (Jan. 10, Feb. 18), No. 20 Vanderbilt (Feb. 10) and No. 21 Tennessee (March 3).

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com

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