The Pac-10 basketball regular season is now over, with the Huskies finishing in third place, two games behind Cal and a game behind ASU. The league was up for grabs this season and the inability to win on the road, coupled with a surprisingly poor performance against Oregon at home to start the season sealed the Huskies' fate.
In a typical year, third place in the Pac-10 earns an automatic bid to the Big Dance with the Pac 10 Tournament serving as warm-up to stay loose and get ready. This season, however, experts believe only two teams from the league might get in. If that is the scenario, Washington currently is on the outside looking in.
The Huskies will open against Oregon State, whom they have already beaten twice this season. Count it as a must-win game, because if Washington fails to beat the Beavers, it's NIT baby! The next team up would be second-place Arizona State, who opens the tournament with hapless Stanford. I believe that the winner of UW-ASU is going to the NCAA tournament, while the other is relegated to the NIT.
The Huskies finished the season strong with three road wins, so perhaps they have matured enough to win on a neutral court. The knocks on the Dawgs remain the same: not enough inside presence, and not enough cohesiveness on the outside when it comes to ball movement. Simply, what must carry the team is their defense.
UW is currently rated at #49 in the RPI. No Pac-10 team with a sub-60 RPI has ever missed the Big Dance, with several in the 60's joining the excitement.
Another New Husky
6'2 204 lb safety Even Zeger from Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas by way of Skyline HS in Sammamish committed to Washington on an unofficial visit this past weekend. His fahter John lettered at UW in the earl 1980's. Zeger is a big-time recruit who had interest from ost of the Pac 10 and Big 12. His Washington bloodlines sealed the deal. Sometimes you are just born to be a Husky.
Zeger is the second commit for the 2011 class. Sark expects to sign around 25 players next February. The obvious thing to like about Zeger is size. He can either be an enforcer at safety or grow into a linebacker. The coaches like him at FS at this point.
Sophomore ace Andrew Kittredge struck out 10 over seven and two-thirds innings for the win as the Washington baseball team came back from an early deficit to beat Long Beach State, 6-4, Sunday at Blair Field. Link
UW men's tennis finished off a perfect 4-0 road trip with an impressive 6-1 win over 46th-ranked Minnesota today at the Gophers' Baseline Tennis Center. Link
The No. 1 Washington softball team swept a pair of games at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in opposite fashion Saturday, blowing out Seattle U, 12-0, in just five innings before being pushed to extra innings by host Hawaii but coming out on top. Link