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    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page
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    The women’s basketball teams at the universities of Kentucky and Louisville could face off in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

    The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in the Albany Region while the Cardinals are the No. 3 seed, according to the pairings released Monday night, and if they each win their first two games they’ll meet in the regional semifinals in New York. The bad news is that the winner of that game will likely face No. 1-ranked Connecticut, the tourney's overall No. 1 seed, in the regional final.

    Meanwhile Western Kentucky University is also in that bracket, as a No. 12 seed. If the Hilltoppers can win their first two games they’d likely meet the Huskies in the Sweet 16.

    Kentucky (23-9), which is No. 11 in the Associated Press Top 25, will face 15th-seed Tennessee State (18-12), the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament champion, at 2:30 p.m. Friday on its homecourt in Memorial Coliseum. If the Wildcats win their first game they’ll host the winner between seventh-seeded Dayton and 10th-seeded Iowa State on Sunday.

    Kentucky, which tied for fourth in the Southeastern Conference regular-season standings then lost to Tennessee in the league’s tournament championship game, is led by 5-foot-10 sophomore guard Makayla Epps (14.5 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game and three assists per game), 5-6 senior point guard Jennifer O’Neill (14.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and 5-8 sophomore guard Linnae Harper (11.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg).

    Louisville (25-6), No. 8 in the AP poll, will meet 14th-seeded BYU (23-9), the West Coast Conference Tournament champions, at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Tampa, Fla. If the Cards win they’ll first game they’ll meet either sixth-seeded, 25th-ranked and host South Florida or 11th-seeded LSU on Monday night.

    UofL, which finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season standings then lost to Florida State in the league’s tournament semifinals, is led by freshman forwards Mariya Moore (13.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.7 apg) and Myisha Hines-Allen (11.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and senior forward Sara Hammond (10.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg).

    If Kentucky and Louisville do face off in the Sweet 16 it will be the second meeting of the season between the two. The Wildcats clipped the Cards 77-68 on Dec. 7 at the KFC Yum! Center.

    Meanwhile Western Kentucky (30-4) will meet fifth-seeded Texas (22-10), which tied for third in the Big 12 during the regular season before losing to Baylor in the conference tourney title game, at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif. If the Hilltoppers win they’ll meet the winner between fourth-seeded and host California and 13th-seeded Wichita State on Sunday.

    WKU, which won the Conference USA regular-season and postseason titles, is led by 6-0 senior forward Chastity Gooch (17 ppg, 6.9 rpg), 5-10 senior wing Alexis Govan (16.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and 5-11 sophomore guard Kendall Noble (11 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.6 apg).

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Facebook Page

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