Colorado women’s basketball: Buffs react to March Madness selection

Buffaloes Wire had you covered as I was on-site to watch the Colorado women’s basketball team react to its NCAA Tournament selection. It was a festive atmosphere inside the Dal Ward Athletic Center as the team gathered for a banquet that ended in a Selection Sunday watch party.

Colorado found out it will be a No. 6 seed in the Seattle 4 region, and it was met with a jubilant cheer from the team. But soon after the celebration died down, it became time for the Buffs to focus on the task at hand. The players I spoke to were ready for the challenge in front of them with a trip to Durham, North Carolina to face Middle Tennessee looming.

Here’s how Buffaloes players and head coach JR Payne reacted to the program’s second straight March Madness bid:

JR Payne on facing Middle Tennessee

“Wow, really excited. I was born in Tennessee. I have a lot of family in Tennessee and grew up hearing about Middle (and) have a lot of family members that went to school there. So I know they’re really good. I haven’t watched them this year, but I know they’re good. So we’re excited.”

JR Payne on what will be different this year

“I do expect us to handle it differently. I think that we have a great group of upperclassmen veterans that didn’t perform the way they wanted to last year in the NCAA Tournament. And since that time, we really wanted to make sure that we perform the way we’re capable.”

JR Payne on making the tournament twice in row for the first time in about 20 years

“We came to the University of Colorado to help build a program, and we recruited players to come help us build a program. Our upperclassmen that are celebrating tonight, the fact they they’ve worked for this, we all have, but they came here when we weren’t NCAA Tournament-eligible, and they’ve worked to put us in a position. It’s pretty exciting for everybody.”

Aaronette Vonleh on being a No. 6 seed and taking on Middle Tennessee

“There’s (been) a bunch of talk over the weeks — you never know where you’re gonna end up. So I mean, six is still pretty good. Middle Tennessee, I don’t know much about them. But we have to be ready to play whoever we get matched up with.”

Aaronette Vonleh on coming to Colorado from Arizona

“It was definitely just a bigger role. I’m contributing a lot every day. So it’s just a completely different aspect. Last year, I was more just being a good cheerleader, kind of helping my teammates make sure they were getting what they needed done. So it’s just a big adjustment, but I’m excited to be a part of the real thing.”

Frida Formann on the season so far

“This season has been great. I think we’ve just been really consistent. We’ve kind of found our identity and I think we have a really balanced team. I think that we’ve shown that we have a team where anyone can be the one that day, so that’s been really great.”

Frida Formann on being a No. 6 seed

“It’s always weird with projections because you get kind of excited about it but you also know you can’t really care too much and getting a No. 6 seed is great. I think if you wanted that fourth-seed so bad or the fifth-seed, then it can be disappointing, but I don’t think we think that way. It doesn’t really matter that much to me. We’re going to play a team, we would have played a good team anyways. All teams are great. So it’s just nice to finally know where we are so we can move forward.”

Frida Formann on what her team can learn from the season so far

“We’ve spent a lot of time just focusing on ourselves because we know that whatever game we’ve had this season that we lost, it was about us. Moving forward, we’re going to win because of us. We really just tuned into our own stuff and not think too much about how we need to adjust with who we play.”

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire