The Wildcats survived a tough test from Princeton in the opening round Saturday, beating the Tigers 67-64. Kansas State was playing the Huskies for the first time despite being in UConn's region of the NCAAs five times in the last 11 years.
Before the game, Patterson said she was impressed by UConn's defense after watching it against Prairie View in the opener. The Huskies held the Lady Panthers to just 15 points in the second half of that 83-47 victory. They continued that stellar effort against the Wildcats.
"To be honest, all year long watching them on television and film prior to this game, they've been my pick to win it all," Patterson said. "I really never pick against Connecticut. They're as versatile as you would have thought when they're shooting as well as they are on the perimeter."
With the first-round win against the Lady Panthers, UConn surpassed the 30-victory mark for the seventh straight season, matching the Division I record set by Duke from 2001-07.
"We talked about the 30 wins and how important that is to them," Auriemma said. "Going to regionals again, how rewarding it should feel for them. Those are things that sometimes people take for granted. We don't want to do that. I'm happy for this group. I'm really happy for this group."
Doug Feinberg can be reached at www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg
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