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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 17, 2007 at 10:16 PM

Still in it?

This is starting to look like a real “what might have been” season for the Huskies.
Consider the Pac-10 standings after today’s play:
1, UCLA 12-2
2, WSU 11-3
3, USC 9-4
4, Stanford 9-5
5, Oregon 8-7
Arizona 8-7
7, Washington 6-8
Cal 6 -8
9, Oregon State 2-13
10, Arizona State 0-14
If the Huskies had been able to beat WSU — they didn’t, they didn’t deserve to, and I understand it’s all hypothetical — but still, they were four points away and had their chances.
And if they had won that game (or one of the others they tossed along the way), look how close they’d be to being right back in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid.
In fact, consider that the Huskies still have a chance to pass Oregon next week. if UW beats Oregon State Thursday while WSU beats Oregon — and that’s how the oddsmakers will probably expect it to happen. If that happens, UW will play at Oregon Saturday with a chance to pass the Ducks in the standings and take the tiebreaker on them.
I bring it up only to point out that for as many times as we’ve all painted the Huskies as dead this year, they’re just a few points away from really being in it. And to point out that with four games left, there is still life.
It’s a faint pulse, to be sure, as UW will have to sweep in Oregon — never easy in any circumstance and a lot to ask of a team that’s won just one road game this season — then beat USC and UCLA at home, two of the three best teams in the conference. So the odds would say it won’t happen.
But if it does, and given the freefalls going on in Tucson and Eugene, the Huskies might just still have a chance.
If not, they’ll have lots of cause to wonder what might have been.
And kudos to Stanford for getting two needed wins without Anthony Goods, who sprained his ankle against UW last Sunday. Stanford now looks like a sure thing to get into the tournament.
Meanwhile, there’s Arizona, which still had an RPI of 10 as of Friday, but now has lost eight of its last 13 games and now has to play its final three games on the road — at Arizona State next Sunday and then Cal and Stanford. Obviously it will be interesting to see how the Wildcats respond now. Those of us who picked Arizona to win the Pac-10 this season are wondering what the heck is going on —- and wondering what the heck we were ever thinking.
— As for my thoughts on the officiating against Pitt, I wouldn’t say the Huskies lost the game because of it if only because I’m not one of those to ever blame anything solely on the refs — officiating is so much a matter of perspective, and I think that if it’s looked at with an objective eye it usually turns out to have been pretty even.
But the free throw disparity is worth pointing out in a game where the Huskies were the ones going inside all the time while Pitt was the team doing more from the perimeter. That said, UW’s guards got beat a lot off the dribble, which is what led to a lot of the fouls. Quincy Pondexter picked up four fouls in 17 minutes, for instance, largely because he had trouble keeping his man in front of him. I was just passing along that there were some who thought it odd that Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes shot a combined two free throws despite taking a combined 29 shots from the field (both free throws by Brockman).
As for what crews work games, it’s usually decided upon at the time of scheduling. Given that a Big East crew worked this game, I’m sure that means a Pac-10 crew will work the game when Pitt comes to Seattle next Dec. 8.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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