And just like that, the Washington Huskies best season since 2010 is in the books. Despite hanging tough in the first half, the No. 9-Seed Huskies lost to the No. 1-Seed North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the NCAA tournament 81-59. Four UNC players scored in double digits including Luke Maye and Nassir Little, who each had 20 points. Maye also had 10 rebounds.
In the first half, every time it appeared that the Tar Heels were about to pull away, Washington would make a basket to stay in it. North Carolina took the lead to as many as 12 points multiple times, but Washington kept fighting to stay in the game. The Huskies forced 10 UNC turnovers, but the Tar Heels still managed to shoot 51.6% in the half.
UNC freshman guard Coby White connected on four of his first five 3-point attempts (4-7 on the night), including an impressive off-balance jumper in the corner that might have been the highlight of the game. The Tar Heels lead at halftime 41-33.
Early in the second half Washington missed five straight field goal attempts. Stretches like this helped to doom them. Freshman Jamal Bey finally ended that drought with a three-pointer, but the Huskies simply struggled to score in this one. As a team, the Huskies shot just 38.3% (23-60) from the floor and went 9-29 from deep.
Jaylen Nowell was the leading scorer for the Huskies with 12 points. Noah Dickerson finished the game with 10 points and seven boards. Nahziah Carter also scored 10 points by making four of his 11 shots, including two 3-pointers. Despite a good defensive day for Matisse Thybulle (four steals and two blocks), the senior guard was only able to connect on one of his eight shots and ended the day with two points and four assists.
With about 7 1⁄2 minutes to go, UW senior guard David Crisp had the ball swatted away from him which led to a North Carolina fast break and what felt like a message sending dunk from Nassir Little. The dunk put UNC up 67-49 and helped to confirm that the Tar Heels were deserving of their No. 1-Seed.
The Huskies only managed to force two turnovers in the second half and UNC ran away with the game. The Dawgs were also out rebounded 48-24, which is a pretty damning statistic.
While this wraps up Washington’s 2018-2019 season, it was also the final game for the four seniors who helped turn this program around during the transition from Coach Romar to Coach Hop. No doubt that Thybulle, Dickerson, Crisp and Dominc Green wished their season wasn’t over. But with that said, a big, big tip of the cap is due to all four of the now outgoing seniors. After going 9-22 their sophomore season, two years later they had a 27 win season that saw them win the Pac-12 regular season title, make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011, and win their first tournament game against No. 8-Seed Utah State.
Thanks for the memories, boys. What a ride it’s been.
We’ll see the rest of you next season. Thanks for reading and being apart of this awesome community.