I'm not in Las Vegas, but watched the Washington Huskies' 69-67 victory over 15th-ranked Oklahoma on television and will pass along our usual tale of the tape recap.
PLAYER OF THE GAME -- Buddy Hield and Isaiah Cousins were each productive for the Sooners, scoring 17 points apiece on a combined 13-for-24 effort from the field (Cousins was 8-for-11). The Huskies were led in scoring by Jernard Jarreau, who bounced back from a pretty unimpressive stretch of games to make six of his nine field-goal attempts while snagging six rebounds. When Oklahoma started to crawl back into the game late in the first half, it was Jarreau who kept the Huskies up by double-digits with a couple of important buckets.
IT WAS OVER WHEN -- Oklahoma was given 0.3 seconds to try to tie or win the game, but the Sooners' full-court pass didn't find its target and the Huskies escaped with their biggest victory of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME -- The Huskies' three big men -- Jarreau, Shawn Kemp Jr. and Robert Upshaw -- combined to shoot 14-of-21 (66.7 percent) from the field. UW also got 24 points from its bench, while Oklahoma only had four.
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WHAT IT MEANS -- Lorenzo Romar said earlier this week that Oklahoma was the best team on UW's nonconference schedule, and the Sooners eventually proved that by nearly erasing a 20-point first-half deficit. The Sooners made four of their first five 3-point attempts in the second half (though they finished just 5-of-16 overall). They stalled UW's offense with their aggressive on-ball defense, and constantly contested passing lanes. And it looked for a while as if Oklahoma might seize control after UW's big first half. But the Huskies never allowed the Sooners to take the lead, and made just enough plays -- barely -- down the stretch to claim what could end up being a pretty impressive win when the NCAA tournament selection committee convenes in March to put together the field. UW remains offensively flawed -- it could use a reliable 3-point shooter -- and played probably its worst defensive half of the season tonight. The finish could have been stronger, too. Once again, though, the Huskies found a way to win the kind of game they almost certainly would have lost a year ago, and they did it despite Upshaw and Andrew Andrews (fixed) producing at a level below what is typically expected of them. Romar called UW's come-from-behind victory over Eastern Washington a "character win." This likely belongs in the same category -- and it came against a top-15 team. Now, with far less challenging games against Tulane and Stony Brook remaining on the nonconference schedule, the Huskies are looking at a likely 12-0 record heading into Pac-12 play. Not sure many saw that coming.
UP NEXT -- Washington vs. Tulane, Monday, 8 p.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion (Pac-12 Networks)
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple