Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Familiar haunts for Kansas State

Not only was Kansas State women's basketball coach Deb Patterson diplomatic about being sent to the subregionals in Connecticut for the third time in the last five years but she sounded like she was auditioning to be a spokesperson for the Connecticut Tourism Department.

"When you think about Connecticut, you think about collegiate women's basketball. Because of the University of Connecticut and the great success they had as a program, that is the first thing that comes to mind," Patterson said. "There is a familiarity because we have been up in this area so much, twice here and last year in Storrs. I think we feel almost like this is our destination spot like in the commercial some people go to St. Thomas, some people go to the Bahamas, we come to Connecticut."

Back in 2008 when there were eight teams at each subregional site, the Wildcats were sent to Bridgeport and defeated Chattanooga in the first round before losing to Louisvile 80-63 in the second round.

Last year Kansas State was the No. 8 seed in UConn's regional, as it is this year, and lost to Purdue in the first round at Gampel Pavilion or else the Wildcats would have played UConn in the second round. If Kansas State beats Princeton on Saturday, UConn figures to be awaiting in the second round.

The tradition of women's basketball success in Connecticut is an appealing environment for Patterson to bring her team into.

"It is a challenge, the young people that generally play on this side of the country are ballers from the time they are little itty bitty girls," Patterson said. "They (play in ) the Y leagues, they go through Catholic leagues and by the time they are selected for Ivy League program, collegiate programs here in the Northeast or playing for the University of Connecticut, they play significant big-time national level basketball probably from the time they were 10 or 11, you understand they have a great basketball IQ, they are tough, they are gritty, they are extremely well coached. You think of this as a hot bed of women's basketball both in high school and college basketball."

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