Kentucky Hoops Team Finishes Undefeated, Wins National Title
A few months ago, Pat Forde--a Louisville-based national columnist for Sports Illustrated--bemoaned the state of college basketball in hoops-crazy Kentucky.
Kentucky's Men's Basketball Teams Have Had Much Better Seasons
It was late January, and it wasn't looking good for the Commonwealth. When scouring the landscape at the time, there wasn't an NCAA Tournament team to be found. Louisville was already an abominable 2-17 on its way to a historic and unthinkable 4-28. UK had just suffered, arguably, its worst loss of the season--a home defeat to South Carolina which finished 11-21. And the rest of the state's Division I teams had no hope of an at-large bid; they would all be forced to win their conference tournaments to get into the Big Dance.
Ultimately, the Wildcats and Northern Kentucky made it in, but it was sketchy for a while.
Kentucky's Women's Teams Fared Much Better
Where post-season aspirations weren't so grim was on the women's side. Well not AS grim, let's say. While only one Kentucky team--Louisville--made the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals DID reach the Elite Eight.
Then we have the magical team that dominated Division III women's basketball during the 2022-2023 season. And if you do not keep up with Division III--and it does receive minimal coverage--let me introduce you to the Transylvania (Transy) Pioneers. In February, they were ranked #2.
Kentucky's Transy Pioneers Win Their First National Championship
On Saturday, after overcoming a nine-point first-quarter deficit, they cut down the nets as Division III national champs--the Pioneers' first title--AND finished the season 33-0.
And by the way, while this sort of thing happens far more often in the women's game than it does in the men's game, it is still exciting when the two finalists are both undefeated. That was the case for Transy's opponents, the Christopher Newport Captains, who finished the year 31-1.
The undefeated Pioneers will be celebrated April 5th at the Beck Center on Transylvania's campus.