The memories are many, and only one is good.
When Washington Huskies men’s basketball coach Lorenzo Romar thinks back to an overtime loss the University of Connecticut in the Sweet 16 of the 2006 NCAA tournament, he recalls Brandon Roy having a good game. He also recalls a plethora of mistakes in the last two minutes that allowed the victory to slip away after Washington had built an 11-point second-half lead.
Those memories are coming back this week because UW (8-4) is preparing to travel to Hartford, Conn., to face UConn (9-2) on Saturday for its final nonconference game.
Back in 2006, the Huskies held a 78-72 lead with 1:53 to play in regulation and 80-76 with 21 seconds to play. Washington forward Mike Jensen fouled Marcus Williams on a layup with 11 seconds to go for a one-and-one opportunity. Williams hit the free throw to cut UConn’s deficit to one point.
Roy was then fouled and his two free throws put Washington ahead by three, but Rashad Anderson hit a 3-pointer, which then-UConn coach Jim Calhoun called “miraculous,” to tie the game. Washington went on to lose, 98-92 in overtime. Five Washington players fouled out.
Connecticut also beat Washington by one point in a 1998 Sweet 16 game when Richard Hamilton hit a buzzer-beater.
Romar watched the game in which Hamilton hit the shot as a fan and, by the end, an upset alum. But, he watched the more recent game from the sideline, feeling the Huskies were very close to going to the Final Four that year.
“Probably was the toughest loss,” Romar said. “Just inches. A matter of inches. I think about that one.”
Romar said he goes back and watches different games for different reasons. He checks to see how a set was used in the past or how a player Washington faced, such as UConn’s Rudy Gay, was different when he was younger.
In the case of the 2006 UConn game, Romar said he’s watched the recording several times to see how the team dealt with such a large front line and to confirm his memories of what happened.
“I end up getting all mad again,” Romar said. “Like I’m watching it live for the first time.”
AN ANSWER ON ASJ?
Romar was cryptic when asked whether Huskies football tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will again join the basketball team this season. He said that Seferian-Jenkins or football coach Steve Sarkisian will have “an announcement coming up.”
Romar said he talked to Seferian-Jenkins prior to the bowl game and that the criteria Seferian-Jenkins will use to decide are likely different this year.
ON THE MEND
The team had two days off for the holidays, but was back at practice Wednesday night. Romar said Scott Suggs (plantar fasciitis) was doing well. He had not seen Andrew Andrews (sprained ankle) before meeting with the media, though thought he had been improving. Both firstname.lastname@example.org