I don't care where the Pac-12 ranks in the RPI or what teams did wrong in the beginning of the season, the Huskies are an NCAA tournament team. And sweeping Arizona this season is further evidence of that.
From my game story
But after Saturday, the sum of all those imperfections might be enough to earn them a spot in the NCAA tournament.
With a matchup against perennial tournament entrant Arizona and a noon start – early enough for all the members of the selection committee to watch – the Huskies played perhaps their most complete game of the season, defeating the Wildcats, 79-70, on senior day at Alaska Airlines Arena.
“You can only hope that senior day ends up like it did today,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “From my standpoint, it was great to see how we did it. We put together 40 minutes today. We did a really good job because that team is tough to play.”
The win kept Washington (19-8 overall, 12-3 Pacific-12) atop the conference, and completed a sweep of Arizona (19-9, 10-5).
Despite the Pac-12’s poor rating, that should help the Huskies’ résumé for an at-large tournament bid if they don’t win the conference tournament.
“I think it’s big,” Romar said. “I think they are respected. I think their résumé is respected and I think it definitely helps us.”Columnist Dave Boling was also at the game for us and wrote about the toughness Terrence Ross showed in the win, while scoring a game-high 25 points.
Ross collected 25 points from his repertoire of offensive moves that sometimes make the game look unfair to defenders; the drives with either hand, the delicate jumpers from any angle. That’s prime fan fodder.
What might be more important to the Huskies’ immediate future (and also has to have NBA scouts drooling), is not just the silk in his game, but also the steel. Saturday he pulled down five rebounds, stole the ball five times and blocked a shot while also logging 30 minutes despite playing part of the first half with his left arm limp from a shoulder injury, and part of the second half on a gimpy ankle.
“I was getting hurt left and right,” the sophomore from Portland said. “But I’ll tend it after the game and go out and give it my all.”
Coach Lorenzo Romar had to love that assessment, which is all a part of Ross growing into his role.
“It’s part of his maturation process,” said Romar, whose Huskies improved to 12-3 in the conference standings. “You get older, you realize what it takes to impact the outcome of the game. That’s being physical, going to get rebounds, going after loose balls, holding your ground defensively. He got one of those (shoulder) stingers and played through that, he hurt his ankle, (got in) foul trouble. But he maintained his mental focus.”Here's Tim Booth's game story
The Huskies had just five turnovers. FIVE! That's impressive considering how physical Arizona plays defensively and how aggressive the Huskies play offensively.