Huskies Insider Blog

Morning run: Oregon appears to have locked up No. 4 seed; UCLA destroys the Cougs


Oregon 90, Colorado 81 at Matthew Knight Arena

Oregon basically clinched a top four seed in the Pac-12 tournament with the win over Colorado

at Matthew Knight Arena. The only way it could come into question would be a loss to Utah at home. As improved as the Utes are, I just don't see that happening. With Tony Woods out with a sore shoulder and Olu Ashaolu in foul trouble, head coach Dana Altman had to go with

a smaller front line and it responded.

Columnist George Schroeder believes

senior Devoe Joseph is the difference in the Ducks' success.

Joseph scored 24 points and Garrett Sim added 15 points as

the seniors haven't give up NCAA tourney hopes.

From the Oregon quote sheet .. .

Head coach Dana Altman: "The selection committee looks and says we didn't win at BYU and at Vanderbilt, but we are a different team now with Devoe. They're looking at how you play all year long; all our guys can do is play. Our team is playing good basketball now; we've been playing pretty well."

Will the Buffs be NIT bound for the second straight year?

Head coach Tad Boyle hasn't given up hope on his team winning the Pac-12 tourney title

. But they will have to guard better. Despite being called the best defensive team in the Pac-12 by several coaches, the Buffs let the Ducks shoot over 60 percent and score 54 points in the second half of the game.

It wasn't a good homecoming for Tad Boyle

, who coached in Eugene for three years as an assistant.

UCLA 78, Washington State 46 at the L.A. Sports Arena

I had to post this just for the eFG% ... just unreal.

Anyone who thought the Bruins might be distracted by the SI story fallout was very, very wrong.  Most of the players shrugged off the story's impact on them, but did admit that a win was a necessity. The fans didn't really show up to the Sports Arena and neither did the Cougars. Still, the Bruins were able to find peace on the court and away from the speculation. Diane Pucin talked to some UCLA alums to gauge their reaction to the story. ... here's some video of postgame interviews.

According to several players, WSU took a major step backward in the loss. UCLA had 26 assists on 32 made baskets and other numbers.

Oregon State 77, Utah 67 at Gil Coliseum

Don't let the score fool you, the

Beavers were up by 31 at one point

.  The win snapped

a five-game losing streak.

Here's Craig Robinson's press conference video. From the quote sheet ...

Robinson: "I was really pleased. How I feel that the psychology works behind that is when you hold a team like that in the first half, it is hard to come back no matter how well you are playing in the second half. They played well in the second half and our defense up into the second part of the second half got bored playing defense. We took a couple of chances on offense that we shouldn't have and we allowed them to get a couple of easy baskets. But I think that is what happens when you have such a big lead and you feel like the other team can't catch you. I think we were feeling that way and I had to let them know in couple of timeouts that any team in college basketball can catch up with you if you aren't playing defense."
Utah scored just 15 first half points

, and then had to endure a ridiculous dunk from Jared Cunnigham.

The duo of Chris Hines and Jason Washburn couldn't get going

and an explanation of the Beavers turquoise uniforms.

From the Utah quote sheet

Head coach Larry Krystkowiak: "It was one of those games where we had a couple of good looks and missed them, then all of a sudden we were about as selfish as we have looked in the first half as I've seen us in a long time. We had guys that beat people through the dribble and they would go in with a couple of shot-blockers coming their way and insisted on shooting it instead of making an extra pass. It wasn't the kind of basketball that we needed to be playing."