LARAMIE – Women’s college basketball continues to grow year after year.
There is still a lack of neutrality in the postseason compared to the March madness on the men’s side.
The first two rounds of the women’s NCAA Tournament are played on the home court of the higher seeds instead of at neutral sites like the men’s tournament.
The WNIT, unlike the NIT, is not seeded. So, locations for games are determined by attendance and money as teams advance through the bracket.
Wyoming opened the tournament with a dominant 75-41 victory over Texas A&M- Corpus Christi in front of a lively crowd of 2,820 at the Arena-Auditorium.
As the first-round game was winding down the public address announcer broke the bad news to the brown and gold faithful that the Cowgirls (23-10) would be on the road at Kansas State in the second round on Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum (5 p.m., ESPN+).
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The Wildcats (18-16), who are 0-9 in true road games this season, drew 1,977 fans for their 90-56 romp over Wichita State on Thursday in Manhattan.
According to UW officials, K-State used its Big 12 budget to put in a larger financial bid to host.
“I just think going to different places that we’ve never been to will be very exciting,” Allyson Fertig said after leading the Cowgirls with 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. “If we do win (game) and we come back our fan base is just awesome. I was so surprised when I went out there coming down from warmup. I was like, wow, our fans are the best.
“If we can get another game here, if we beat Kansas State, that will be awesome and I’m really excited.”
UW is now 20-9 all-time in the WNIT. That record includes six wins in Laramie in 2007, including a triple-overtime thriller over Kansas State in the semifinal, on the way to winning the championship.
The Cowgirls have only played two WNIT road games in their history – a 73-64 loss at rival Colorado State in the second round in 2003 and a 67-45 loss at Arizona in the semifinals in 2019.
“It’s going to be a road game we would get going to New Mexico,” Ezell, who played at Bramlage Coliseum when she was a standout guard at Iowa State, said of the atmosphere she is expecting. “They’re going to have some fans there. It’s going to be one of those we’re going to have to bring our toughness. We’ve been road warriors. Even when I was gone, and we were going on the road we were winning a lot of games.
“I have no doubt that our kids will travel that toughness with them to Manhattan.”
UW is 7-7 in road games this season, including a 70-58 win at San Diego State in which the visitors scored 50 points in the second half.
The Wildcats are 14-4 at home, including wins over then-No. 4 Iowa and then-No. 12 Iowa State.
If the Cowgirls advance, they will play the New Mexico-Washington winner in the third round. The Lobos play the Huskies at 6 p.m. Sunday in Seattle.
The site and date will again be determined following the UW-Kansas State game based on attendance and bidding.