Huskies advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a convincing 71-58 win over Mississippi State, which looked every bit a No. 13 seed.
Quincy Pondexter led the way with 23 points -- his season high, but two short of his career high.
UW will meet No. 5-seed Purdue in the second round on Saturday -- gametime tba.
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This was Washington's third straight NCAA tournament opening-round win. The last two teams to do so also won their second game to advance to the Sweet 16. … Brockman recorded his 59th career double-double and his 19th of the season. It also was his 22nd game this season with 10 or more rebounds. And this was his 11th game this season with 14 or more. It also was the top rebounding performance by a Husky in any NCAA tournament games since Lorenzo Romar became coach. … This was the 18th time this season that Varnado blocked at least five shots. He has 394 blocked shots in his career, which is the MSU record. He is 18 behind Shaquille O'Neal's Southeastern Conference career record. … The Bulldogs had a season-low five assists. … This was the third straight NCAA tournament that MSU had begun against a Pacific-10 Conference opponent. The Bulldogs had beaten the previous two: Stanford in 2005 and Oregon last season.
Halftime: UW, 38-27.
The big men -- Jon Brockman and MSU's Jarvis Varnado -- got their second fouls around the middle of the half, and both coaches brought them to the bench. That set up a very different half than most of us were expecting.
The Huskies are being carried by Quincy Pondexter, who has 15 points. Elston Turner also stepped up with seven points.
They're making up for a black hole of points from the guys who were UW's top scorers during the season: Brockman four, Thomas four, Dentmon zero.
On the other side, MSU just hasn't adjusted to UW's physical defense. They've been pushed out of their offense, and have contributed a bunch of unforced errors. No one has more than five for the Bulldogs. Varnado has two points, one rebound, one block.
Overall, MSU has two blocks, but at least in the early going UW seemed very aware of the potential of blocks. They fell into a more typical rhythm once Varnado got to the bench.
Tipoff: No surprises in the introductions. Huskies going with Brockman, Dentmon, Pondexter, Gant and Thomas.
Game is on Channel 7, and 950-AM.
I'll be back with news as it breaks through the game, then a halftime notebook, and finally postgame notes and quotes.
Pregame: The Huskies got notably louder applause when they took the court than did the Bulldogs. Not even close. Lots of boos for the Bulldogs, in fact.
Washington in white, State in maroon.
Winner of this game goes on to meet No. 5-seed Purdue on Saturday. Tip tba.