Huskies Insider Blog

Countdown to tipoff at the Garden

The University of Washington basketball forces struck unbeaten New York University with cyclone fury at Madison Square Garden last night, virtually swept the Violet off the court with the fastest-breaking attack seen hereabouts in many a moon and cracked three Garden scoring records in achieveing a 72-38 victory.

That is the actual lead from the Dec. 31, 1941, New York Times, from Dec. 31, 1941 ... the day after the Huskies beat NYU, 72-38. That was the last time UW played at Madison Square Garden.

That kind of history is what makes the Garden special, and it is much of what makes tonight's game feel so much different from the BCA and Travelers tournaments the past couple of seasons.

That plus a strong field. All four teams in New York today are unbeaten, but obviously only two of them will be by the end of the day.

Here's a preview:

NO. 16 TEXAS A&M (4-0)


4 p.m., Madison Square Garden.


Radio: 950-AM

The Aggies lead, 2-1, including a 69-65 win in the most recent meeting, in Seattle in the second round of the 1982 postseason National Invitation Tournament. The Huskies' only win came in the first meeting, 62-40, in a 1951 NCAA tournament game in Kansas City. Washington is 37-47 all-time against current members of the Big 12 Conference. A&M is 2-20 all-time against current members of the Pacific-10 Conference, with both wins coming against UW.

Statistical leaders: For Texas A&M, F Josh Carter, 16 ppg; C DeAndre Jordan, 8 rpg; G Dominique Kirk, 4.3 apg. For UW, F Jon Brockman, 23 ppg and 11 rpg; G Venoy Overton, 5 apg.

Scouting report: Texas A&M was picked to finish third in the Big 12. The Aggies are coming off of their first back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. … Three starters return from the team that bolted to the Sweet 16 last season: Kirk, Carter, and Joseph Jones. However, the Aggies are without point guard Acie Law, a first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks. … Jones is a 6-foot-9 255-pound forward expected to match up against Brockman. … Carter led the nation in 3-point accuracy last season (.500), while Kirk ranks fifth in school history with 134 treys.

NIT preview: All four teams enter the tournament undefeated. … This is Washington's first appearance at Madison Square Garden since Dec. 30, 1941, when the Huskies routed New York University, 72-38. … Washington won the championship in its previous three season-opening tournaments: the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage (2004), the BCA Classic in Seattle (2005) and the Basketball Travelers Classic in Seattle (2006). … This is the Huskies' second appearance in the preseason NIT. UW opened the 1985-86 season at the NIT in Denver, Colo., getting by UTEP before being eliminated by fifth-ranked Kansas. … Butler won the 2007 NIT Season Tip-Off. The last Pac-10 team to win the tournament was Arizona, in 1999.

Game 2: No. 21 Syracuse (3-0) meets Ohio State (2-0) at 6 p.m., ESPN2.

Next: Losers advance to the consolation game 1:30 p.m. Friday, ESPN. Winners advance to the championship game, 4 p.m. Friday, ESPN2.