Some easy chairs, a soft sofa, potato chips and a big-screen TV might be in order for the Kansas women's basketball bench.
The Jayhawks, you see, are very well rested. Not that they've been taking it easy, but they haven't played a game since March 5, when they lost to Missouri in their Big Eight tournament opener.
When they meet Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the NCAA tournament at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Nacogdoches, Texas, the Jayhawks will have gone 11 days without playing.
Because the Big Eight tournament is held the first weekend in March, it's a typical scenario.
"I've never liked it," Washington admitted. "We decided to keep the tournament in Salina, because they do such a good job. But it is a challenge because you have so many days before you play again. It really does challenge us."
KU junior forward Angela Aycock, however, said she hoped the time off would have a beneficial effect.
"We've had some really good practices," Aycock said. "It's just been good having a break."
Kansas, seeded ninth in the Midwest Regional, enters NCAA play with a 21-5 record. Stephen F. Austin, seeded eighth, is 23-6.
At one point, Kansas was 16-1 and the Ladyjacks were 12-6. Early in the year, Stephen F. Austin was 7-5. But the Ladyjacks have been playing well lately. They've won 11 games in a row and 16 of their last 17.
The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are 5-4 in their last nine games.
KU had hoped to receive a home game in the first round of the 64-team tournament. The top eight seeds in each regional are eligible to host NCAA openers.
The Jayhawks are 9-4 in road games this season.
"It's always tough when you're playing at their place," Washington said.
The KU coach indicated that the women's tournament should follow the same format as the NCAA men's tourney and play first-round games at neutral sites.
"I think that's the biggest disadvantage in the women's game right now, that we don't have neutral sites," Washington said. "They're going to be a lot better at home."
Stephen F. Austin is led by Trenia Tillis, a 6-0 senior forward who averages 23.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
"She's got good size. It looks like she's got good strength," Washington said of Tillis. "She's their obvious go-to player."
Tillis is the only SFA player who averages in double figures, although three others average more than nine points -- 5-4 sophomore guard Kristen Armour (9.5), 5-10 sophomore forward LaTosha Lewis (9.3), and 6-2 sophomore center Latonia Bonnett (9.3).
Tillis, Armour and Lewis, along with 6-0 senior center Stefanie Preston and 5-7 senior guard Roxanne White, are expected to start for Stephen F. Austin.
Kansas is expected to start its regular lineup of 6-2 Aycock and 6-1 Jennifer Trapp at forwards, 6-3 Lisa Tate at center, and 5-10 Charisse Sampson and 5-6 Ericka Muncy at guards.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast on KLWN radio. There is no television.
If the Jayhawks win, they'll face the Penn State-Fordham winner on Saturday or Sunday at the site of the higher-seeded team. Penn State is seeded No. 1 in the Midwest Regional, and Fordham is seeded No. 16.
The Midwest Regional semifinals will be March 24-26 in Austin, Texas, and the Final Four is April 2-3 in Richmond, Va.
KU is one of four Big Eight teams competing in the NCAA tournament. Colorado, 25-4, is the No. 3 seed in the West Regional and will entertain Marquette, 22-6, in the first round.
Oklahoma State and Missouri were both placed in the Midwest Regional. Oklahoma State, 20-8, was seeded 12th and will travel to Texas, 21-8. Missouri, 12-17 and the Big Eight tournament winner, was seeded 15th and will play at defending national champion Texas Tech, 26-4.