MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State women's basketball team will play deep into the heart of March for the fifth-straight season, but this time in the Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
The Wildcats (19-10) will face Idaho State (17-12) on Friday, March 17, at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats and Bengals will tipoff at 7 p.m. (CT). It will be the first all-time meeting between both schools. ISU won the Big Sky Conference regular season title with an 11-3 record in league play.
"I am ecstatic about the fact that our team has played its way into the postseason WNIT," Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson said. "This team has proven its ability to play to the final possessions of a game with top 10 opponents and I could not be prouder of the improvement and competitive intensity we are bringing to the floor as such a young squad."
The 40-team WNIT field will feature four preliminary-round games, followed by 16 first-round games, eight second-round games, four third-round games, two semifinals and one championship. All games in the single-elimination format are played at the home facilities of participating schools. Games will be played beginning on Wednesday, March 15, with the event finishing by March 31.
Considered a bubble team for this year's NCAA Tournament field, K-State's last and only appearance in the WNIT dates back to the 1998-99 season. The Wildcats went 1-1 in the 1999 Postseason WNIT with a first-round home victory over Creighton (71-60) and a second-round loss at Arkansas State (70-83).
K-State was one-of-four Big 12 Conference schools to earn a WNIT bid including in-state rival Kansas, Iowa State and Nebraska. League champion Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M and Baylor all advanced to the NCAA Tourney. The Wildcats finished the regular season 19-10 overall and 8-8 in Big 12 play. Last week, the ‘Cats advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship and lost a close battle with defending national champion Baylor, 79-74, in overtime.
"I believe we have established ourselves to be playing as well as any team in the country right now and we look forward to the great and exciting challenge of competing in the WNIT," Patterson said. "I believe without question our second team All-Big 12 Conference player Claire Coggins will assert herself as one of the premier players in this tournament. I look forward to each and every challenge and experience this great tournament provides our team. We are excited as we can be to have been selected to this excellent field and tournament."