Huskies Insider Blog

Morning links: UW hoops looking to keep pace in Pac-12 standings

There is plenty to do today, with the UW football team returning to the practice field for another spring workout, and the UW basketball team hosting UCLA at 6 p.m. (ESPN2). And links right now.

--- We had a feature today about UW walk-on Connor Smith, who earned his way onto the team in his last year of college. That will be linked when it goes online. For now, a preview:

For his efforts, Smith has been rewarded with opportunities he wouldn’t have otherwise received, such as his budding friendship with basketball legend and Pac-12 hoops analyst Bill Walton.

The two were chatting before a game Walton worked earlier this season. The subject of Smith’s back surgery came up, a plight with which Walton sympathized, having undergone major back operations himself.

So Walton asked Smith for his email address, and sent him an article he’d written about his own medical experiences.

Smith says wryly: “Bill Walton and I, we’re homies.”

--- After Utah beat California, Arizona beat Oregon State and Colorado beat Stanford, here's what the Pac-12 men's basketball standings look like. As you can see, Washington can move into a five-way tie for fifth place by beating UCLA today. If the Huskies lose, they'll be in ninth place by themselves heading into the regular season finale (with four teams one game ahead). Quite the logjam in the middle.

--- Percy Allen writes about Andrew Andrews' improvement.

--- Utah's win over Cal was huge for the Utes' NCAA tournament hopes. The Bears failed to help their chances of a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

--- Colorado moved into a third-place tie by beating Stanford, 59-56, in Palo Alto.

--- Arizona escaped in Corvallis, holding off the Beavers 74-69.

--- Washington State and USC will battle tonight for the rights to last place in the Pac-12 (8 p.m., ESPNU).

--- Oregon's game against Arizona in Eugene on Saturday will be a sellout.

--- In football news, it looks like the "10-second rule" will be a no-go, so feel free to chill the heck out about it.

--- The Pac-12 blog breaks down the conference's linebackers.

--- Remember Nevada guard Deonte Burton? He threw down a ridiculous dunk last night.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple