Wildcats Selected to Make 12th NCAA Appearance

K-State celebrates its selection into 2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship field on Monday night.

March 14, 2011

NCAA Tournament Central

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State women's basketball team was granted the 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the eighth in the Deb Patterson era during Monday night's NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Show on ESPN.

With K-State's at-large berth into the NCAA Women's Championship, the Wildcats are one of just two Big 12 schools (Texas A&M) and one of 14 nationally to have both basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament and its football team appear in a bowl game this season

The Wildcats (21-10, 10-6 Big 12) were chosen as a No. 8 seed in the Philadelphia regional and will be opposed by No. 9 seed Purdue (20-11, 9-7 Big Ten) on Sunday, March 20 at 1:30 p.m. (CT) in Storrs, Conn., at Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and on ESPN3.com. The contest will also be broadcast on the K-State Sports Network.

The winner of the Kansas State-Purdue game will play the winner of the No. 1 Connecticut-No. 16 Hartford matchup on Tuesday, March 22. The top four seeds in the Philadelphia regional are: No. 1 and two-time defending national champion Connecticut (32-1), No. 2 Duke (29-3), No. 3 DePaul (27-6) and No. 4 Maryland (23-7).

K-State is 10-11 in its previous 11 NCAA Tournament bids. The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. Kansas State entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Raleigh region. K-State defeated No. 12 seed Drexel in the first round before falling to No. 4 seed Vanderbilt in the second round. 

This is the ninth postseason appearance for the Wildcats in the last 10 years, as K-State has appeared in seven NCAA Tournaments and two postseason WNITs in the last 10 seasons. K-State captured the 2006 WNIT title for the first postseason title in school history and reached the semifinals of the 2007 WNIT. The Wildcats have advanced to the second round in the last six NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 effort during the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

Under head coach Deb Patterson, K-State has now reached the NCAA Tournament eight times and registered a 7-7 record with six straight second round appearances.

This season, Kansas State became the 13th program in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to reach the 800-win mark and achieved its 22nd 20-win season and tied for the third in the Big 12. The Wildcats have been led by All-Big 12 selections Brittany Chambers and Jalana Childs.

Chambers is the first K-State sophomore to earn All-Big 12 first team honors since the 2002-03 season and is the eighth player in school history to be named to the All-Big 12 first team, as she was a unanimous selection. The native of Jordan, Minn., was one of two players in the Big 12 to register 450+ points, 150+ rebounds and 80+ assists this season, as she has recorded a career-high 496 points (16.0 ppg) and set a new career-high for assists in a season with 84. Her point per game average ranks 10th in the league this season, while she ranks second in the league in three-point field goals made per game (2.7), ninth in the league for three-point field goal percentage (.375) and fourth in the league for minutes played per game (34.9).

In addition to her on court honors, Chambers was recognized for her work in the classroom as well, earning a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District VII third team citation and Academic All-Big 12 first team honors.

Childs earned her first career all-league honor after displaying one of the most improved games in the league this season. The forward from Orlando, Fla., has scored a career-high 407 points (13.1 ppg) in the campaign and ranks 18th in the league in the category. In league action, she was even better as she notched an average of 15.7 points per game to rank 12th in the league. Childs turned up her production during Big 12 play as she recorded 13 games in doubles figures including a stretch of nine straight contests in double digits from Jan. 26-March 2.

Purdue finished the season seventh in the Big Ten with a league mark of 9-7 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a 66-62 win over Indiana. The Boilermakers have been led this season by junior guard Brittany Rayburn and redshirt junior forward Drey Mingo. Both players were selected to the All-Big Ten third team with Rayburn leading the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game. Mingo is third on the team in scoring with 11.9 points per game and paces the team in rebounding with 5.9 boards per game.   

Kansas State Head Coach Deb Patterson
On being selected an 8th seed ...
"I think that a 7 or 8 either one was really reasonable for what we brought to the table down the stretch. I was thinking honestly that a 7 or 8 was where we were going to end up and a 9 on the backside. I really thought that we played ourselves above a 9 seed."

On the Big 12 getting seven teams into NCAA Tournament...
"I think that is what our league is all about. Getting seven in is what we all expected and is what I think is reasonable for our league."

On the chance to face Connecticut in the second round...
"When you line-up against the number one team in Connecticut that is an exciting proposition. It is just a once in a lifetime experience."

Junior forward Jalana Childs
On the feeling when K-State was called...
"Excitement. It was the feeling that we had made it. We made it to the NCAA tournament. We are very excited and proud about making it to this point."

On what the day was like up until the selection...
"It was pretty normal. We got here (Colbert Hills) and we were just wondering where we were going to be. Are we going to be in Philadelphia, California or Connecticut, you just never know until you are called."

Sophomore guard Brittany Chambers
On the selection process...
"I was nervous for a little while. I did not think I was going to be nervous but then the three brackets went by so I got a little more uncertain. It is fun. We have a tough bracket but it is exciting."

On the possible matchups...
"It is going to be exciting no matter who we play. We have to go in there and play our game and battle against Purdue and then if UCONN is next then it will be exciting."

Sophomore guard Taelor Karr
On the relief of being in the tournament...
"It is a big weight off our shoulders. There is no guarantee for us that we were going to be in, so we did not want to get snubbed. It is great to finally see it and have it set in stone that we are in. We got that eight seed and we are ready to take on Purdue now."