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Kim Mulkey: LSU ‘not supposed to make the Final Four’ in her second year


LSU basketball coach Kim Mulkey wants fans to remain realistic about the team’s postseason chances. 

The Tigers will head into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed, and they’ll play host to No. 14 seed Hawai’i in the first round. But Mulkey, who won three national titles at Baylor, is remaining grounded about their chances of making the Final Four in her second year with this program.

“We’re 28-2. The fans get excited, but sometimes they lose perspective,” Mulkey said. “They think we’re supposed to go to the Final Four. Give me a break. Like, give me a break.

“Can we? Yeah. That’s why you play the game. But we’re not supposed to make the Final Four in year two here. We’re just hoping to win one more in the playoffs and then let the chips fall where they may.”

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To get to the Final Four, LSU potentially would have to get through No. 6 seed Michigan in the second round before facing No. 2 seed Utah and No. 1 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

Still, LSU has set “real” goals for itself in this year’s NCAA Tournament. In Mulkey’s first year, the team lost in the second round.

“I’m going to protect this program and these kids. What is our goal here? To win one more than we won last year,” Mulkey said. “Then when you get to the Sweet Sixteen, you look around and go, ‘Hey, let’s see what we can do here.’ We think we’re as good as anybody else, but you can’t set those goals until you achieve what you didn’t do last year.

“We are on a fast track. And sometimes I think the fast track blinds the media and it blinds the fans on what we really should be achieving. I know what it takes to build a program. We are way ahead of schedule.”