Most posters in yesterday’s Guess the UW Score contest picked Washington beat Oregon in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals, but no one predicted a low-scoring game. The Huskies won 69-51.
Still we he had a big winner and congratulations to Purple + Gold who guessed UW would win 70-61.
Since you’re a relative newcomer to the blog, here’s how things work. You get a choice of two prizes. The options include a hot dog and a soft drink at a UW game or a promotional code for the UW men’s basketball app.
Welcome to the blog and nice job.
Alright the moment of truth.
Today’s game (times Pacific).
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 3 Washington, 3 p.m. (CBS)
Record: 61-33 Pac-10, 126-56 overall.
AND THE UW-ARIZONA WINNER IS …
The Huskies 72-71.
This game has ugly written all over it. Arizona managed just 67 points yesterday in the first semifinal while Washington looked gassed in Friday’s nightcap.
And it’s a short turnaround for the Huskies who will have fewer than 24 hours between games.
Isaiah Thomas has played 78 minutes in two days and he’ll have to go 30-plus minutes again. That’s asking a lot. Sure they’re young guys. But when the legs are tired, the shot is the first thing that suffers. And when you’re tired, you make mistakes defensively. You commit silly turnovers and the game gets sloppy.
It’s imperative the Huskies look to attack inside because you’d think the three-point shot won’t be as effective today.
Strangely enough every Washington player other than Thomas hasn’t played heavy minutes despite a short-handed rotation. I talked to Matthew Bryan-Amaning yesterday and he said he feels fresh. He only played 25 minutes Friday and Justin Holiday logged 26.
They need to step up today.
Bryan-Amaning is looking forward to matching up once again with Arizona star Derrick Williams. The last time they met it was a classic battle. We won’t delve too much into the foul disparity in that game. Williams went to the line nine times, Bryan-Amaning none. Williams had no fouls, Bryan-Amaning three.
Things should even up today on a neutral floor.
Arizona has a little more depth and its important for Washington to avoid a slow start. It takes a lot of energy to make a comeback and it’s much easier to play with a lead.
It will be interesting to see what coach Lorenzo Romar does with the lineup. The Huskies are 2-0 with freshman Terrence Ross starting this week, but UW recruited 7-foot center Aziz N’Diaye for games like today.
N’Diaye didn’t start in the last game against the Wildcats because he was late for a team bus and benched during the start. In the first meeting, he was a force. He played 27 minutes and finished with eight rebounds in an 85-68 UW win on Jan. 20.
The Huskies likens today’s game to last year’s tournament final against California. Washington won 79-75 in a thrilling contest that wasn’t decided until the final minutes.
This game has a similar feel.