LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team played the second toughest schedule in the nation last season and head coach Matthew Mitchell has not strayed from wanting to play the best teams in the country as a challenging 2017-18 non-conference slate awaits the Wildcats.
Of its 14 scheduled non-conference games, seven will come against teams that finished last season inside the top 100 of the NCAA RPI, including four that finished inside the top 50. The schedule is highlighted by home games against Louisville and California and challenging road trips to Washington State, Baylor, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (Fla.) and Middle Tennessee.
“Our goal every year is to use our non-conference schedule to prepare our players for the grind of a full SEC slate and that is exactly what we have done this season,” Mitchell said. “We played one of the toughest schedules in the country last year and I believe this season’s schedule will be similarly difficult. The balance of this schedule is what sticks out with quality opponents coming to Memorial Coliseum and some very challenging road trips all over the country. We have been very pleased with the work our team has put in so far this summer and cannot wait for full practices to get underway this fall.”
The demanding slate includes games against 2017 NCAA Tournament participants Baylor, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (Fla.), Louisville and Cal. Four of those teams were either ranked or receiving votes in last year’s final ranking with Baylor finishing sixth, Louisville finishing 12th, Miami (Fla.) finishing 19th and Florida Gulf Coast receiving votes. In all, seven non-conference opponents won 20 or more games last season.
Kentucky will hold its lone exhibition game Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. against Southern Indiana before officially…