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Patterson Hopes Ride Will Continue

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Peaking is a most inexact science in the world of sports, and to be honest, it has Kansas State women's coach Deb Patterson stewing heading into the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City.

She admits, "I think we played our best basketball last week," in reference to consecutive must wins over No. 5 Texas A&M and at arch-rival Kansas.

Now, she says, "I hope there is no sense of relaxing, but I think that's what you fight in terms of human nature and the grind of learning how to get really peaked up again after a peak week last week. Now we have to have a peak game on Wednesday. This might be the greatest challenge we've faced all year."

Even though most likely in the women's NCAA Tournament field of 64, she says, "Every day is the next day and we'll have to see what these players bring to the floor this week. I think we played our best last week because we competed very, very well."

K-State tied Oklahoma for third place in the Big 12 and now will receive a first-round bye and play Tuesday's winner of the Iowa State - Nebraska game at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Municipal Auditorium.

The Wildcats (20-9, 10-6) lost twice to ISU (21-9, 9-7) by scores of 61-53 and 58-51, but defeated Nebraska (13-16, 3-13) twice 64-37 and 69-64.

Without knowing the opponent, Patterson said that "50-50 time" will be spent on both Iowa State and Nebraska before the outcome of that game is determined.

How important is the first-round bye, and how important is the new format of having Thursday as an off day?

"Time will tell. It has to be a good thing if you win that first game," Patterson said. "But it's all about the preparation and mindset for that first game. Let's see how we deal with it."

With a win on Wednesday, the tournament's semi-finals will be on Friday at noon and 2:30 p.m., followed by the championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday.

LOVIN' KC: The Big 12 Championships for the men and women are in Kansas City through the year 2014, which Patterson says she is thrilled with.

"I just love the opportunity for our fans to be able to support us and be there," said the Wildcat coach.

Patterson also gives a thumbs-up on being in the same city as the men's tournament that will be taking place in the Sprint Center, while the women play in the historic Municipal Auditorium.

"I will always be a proponent of that," Patterson said. "Every once in a while coaches may be upset with the number of inches we get in print media, or the coverage we might get in electronic media relative to the coverage the men are getting. But I think it's a small price to pay for the overall exposure you get."

Patterson hopes there are fans that become cross-over fans and support both teams from a respective school.

"When there is a day, or a game, extra where our fans can come see our game, I believe they will," Patterson said.

And, Patterson is nothing but a fan of playing the women's tournament in the 7,300-seat Municipal Auditorium, which will be hosting the event for the 10th time.

LEAGUE COACHES HONOR CHAMBERS, CHILDS: K-State's Brittany Chambers has been named as a first-team All-Big 12 player and Jalana Childs as a second-teamer.

Coach of the Year: Kim Mulkey, Baylor
Player of the Year: Brittney Griner, Baylor
Newcomer of the Year: Destiny Williams, Baylor
Freshman of the Year: Odyssey Sims, Baylor
Defensive Player of the Year: Brittney Griner, Baylor
Sixth Man Award: Maryann Baker, Texas A&M and Chynna Brown, Texas Tech

All-Big 12 First Team: Brittney Griner, BU; Melissa Jones, BU; Odyssey Sims, BU; Brittany Spears, CU; Kelsey Bolte, ISU; Carolyn Davis, KU; Brittany Chambers, KSU; Danielle Robinson, OU; Danielle Adams, A&M; Tyra White, A&M
All-Big 12 Second Team: Jalana Childs, KSU; RaeShara Brown, MU; Toni Young, OSU; Chassidy Russell, UT; Kierra Mallard, TTU
Honorable Mention: Lindsey Moore, NU; Aaryn Ellenberg, OU; Ashleigh Fontenette, UT; Kathleen Nash, UT; Sydney Carter, A&M; Sydney Colson, A&M; Casey Morris, TTU; Teena Wickett, TTU    
Big 12 All-Defensive Team: Brittney Griner, BU; Chelsea poppens, ISU; Danielle Robinson, OU; Sydney Carter, A&M; Monique Smalls, TTU
Big 12 All-Freshman Team: Odyssey Sims, BU; Hallie Christofferson, ISU; Jordan Hooper, NU; Aaryn Ellenberg, OU; Chassidy Fussell, UT

BRACKETOLOGISTS: It means little at this point, and is in constant change, but ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme has Kansas State as a No. 9 seed in next week's NCAA Tournament.

ESPN has K-State playing Rutgers in the Stanford Regional, where the host team is also the owner of a No. 1 seed.

From the Big 12, ESPN has Baylor as a No. 1, Texas A&M a No. 2, Oklahoma a No. 6, Iowa State a No. 7, Texas Tech a No. 8; K-State a No. 9 and Texas a No. 11.

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP LINEUP:
TUESDAY - Game 1 CU vs. KU, 11 a.m.; Game 2 NU vs. ISU, 1:30 p.m.; Game 3 MU vs. Texas, 5 p.m.; Game 4 OSU vs. Texas Tech, 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY - Baylor vs. Game 1 winner, 11 a.m.; K-State vs. Game 2 winner, 1:30 p.m.; Texas A&M vs. Game 3 winner, 5 p.m.; Oklahoma vs. Game 4 winner, 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY - Semi-finals at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
SATURDAY - Championship Game, 11 a.m.


We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com. For those who would like to share Sports Extra with a friend or family member, or change your current email address, click here.