Idaho’s kids talked about the excitement of making the team’s second ever trip to the NCAA women’s tournament, and the program’s third trip to the Eastern time zone.
But for UConn (29-4), making its 25th straight tournament appearance, Friday was about starting a run at a sixth straight Final Four and an eighth national title.
The Huskies face 16th-seeded Idaho (17-15) on Saturday in Storrs, Conn., in a first-round game in the Bridgeport Region. It is one of 16 games on the first day of the NCAA Tournament.
‘‘There’s expectations here,’’ UConn guard Kelly Faris said. ‘‘I think there are times that we take it for granted that we are a part of the tournament every year, but it goes back to what’s expected of us and what’s expected of this program and what Coach [Geno Auriemma] has built here.’’
Guard Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said the Huskies are not looking past the Western Athletic Conference champions, but understand that a first-round win is not really their goal, just a step toward it.
‘‘When you come to Connecticut, you know you have a really good chance of winning a national championship,’’ she said. ‘‘And whatever work you are willing to put in to get there determines whether you get a national championship. That’s where we are now.’’
. . .
In its first foray into the NCAA Tournament, No. 13 seed Quinnipiac (30-2) is intent upon beating No. 4 seed Maryland (24-7) on Saturday in College Park, Md., in a first-round Bridgeport Region matchup.