The story of the weekend locally was the Washington basketball team finally getting a win on the road against Stanford. Salvaging a split on the road kept the Huskies in sole possession of second in the Pac-10 at 8-3, a half-game behind UCLA, and 17-6 overall, topping last year's victory total.
The Huskies have five conference games left on the schedule and three of them are at home starting with the Oregon schools this weekend. What that means is the regular season conference championship likely will be decided in Los Angeles the following weekend.
UCLA which is leading the conference by 1/2 a game at this point is still the team to beat for the regular season championship. They haven't lost since playing Washington in Seattle and demolished Notre Dame and USC this past weekend. UW will have its hands full beating them on their home court.'
The Huskies need to finish business and sweep the Oregon schools at home this week. Oregon State which is coming up on Thursday is not going to be a gimmee. The Beavers are playing their best ball in more than a decade right now under Coach Robinson who seems to have the traction to be able to turn the program around.
The Oregon Ducks on the other hand are still winless in Pac 10 play which means Ernie Kent's job is probably in peril once the season ends. Oregon just broke ground for a new arena and they want to make sure that a winning team is assembled by the time the facility is ready.
I am pretty sure Washington will sweep the next two and play for all the marbles against the LA schools in two weeks before finishing with a WSU team at home that is capable of beating anyone with its style of play on any given night.
A curious late season addition to the schedule is Seattle University which has won its past six games and is rated at 172 in the Sagarin ratings. The Redhawks and the Huskies will play to make up the void created by the Lehigh cancellation in december due to the snowstorm.
Just to put that 172 rating in perspective Oregon is rated at 153 and Washington is at 23. There are 347 teams eligible for rating in the Sagarin ratings so it is actually a pretty high rating for SU which is playing its first season of Div 1 basketball in thirty years.
The Women's Program
The Husky women lost their tenth straight game which is a new infamous record for the program. The Husky women did play much better against Stanford and California at home but this team is missing some obvious parts to compete int he Pac 10.
We are hearing that Coach Tia Jackson will survive this season but she is very much on the hot seat going into next year. The Washington program wasn't exactly broke when she arrived but the defection of almost an entire top 20 recruiting class has hampered her efforts to get the team rolling.
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times offers his opinion on the current state of the Washington Women's Basketball program.