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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 19, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Three Pac-12 teams in action tonight

The Pac-12 may have been eliminated from the NCAA tournament, but the conference is still well represented in the postseason.
Before we get to the games on tap, let’s check in on Oregon as the Ducks prepare for Tuesday’s game at Washington.
In response to some of the pre-game woofing in Seattle, Oregon guard Garrett Sim told the Oregonian: “They can talk all they want,” he said. “Playing at Washington is tough, but at the same time it’s fun to go in there and it’s especially fun to go in there and get a win. We know we’re going to need to stay together and play hard. We know what to expect.”
Coach Lorenzo Romar said he didn’t think the Huskies were being disrespectful with their comments.
“Someone says which one would you prefer and our guys were being honest I guess,” he said. “Out of the two this was the team we’d prefer to play. I think our guys have a healthy respect for Oregon’s team. I think our guys understand how good a team they are and how well they’re playing. I didn’t take those comments as calling them out or anything.”
Here’s a sampling of tonight’s action.
— Here’s an updated look at the bracket.
No. 7 Illinois State (21-13) at No. 3 Stanford (22-11), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2) — Illinois State is very familiar with Stanford’s star freshman guard Chasson Randle, an Illinois native who was named the state’s co-Mr. Basketball last year. The Cardinal must contend with the red-hot Redbirds who drained 17 of 23 shots three-pointers in their previous game. Stanford is trying to become the fourth team to play at the Garden in both the Preseason and Postseason NIT in the same season.
No. 7 No. Middle Tennessee (26-6) at No. 1 Tennessee (19-14), 4 p.m. (ESPN) — If Washington gets past Oregon on Tuesday, then the Huskies could face the winner of this second-round matchup. The Volunteers are heavily favored because they’re riding an eight-game home winning streak and second-team All-SEC forward Jeronne Maymon (bruised knee) is expected to return after missing the NIT opener. He led UT in scoring and rebounding in conference games. At halftime, Middle Tennessee had a 36-34 lead.
No. 6 Minnesota (20-14) at No. 2 Miami (Fla) (20-12), 6 p.m. (ESPN) — If UW advances, here are two more potential opponents the Huskies could face in semifinals. This game is a toss up. Miami is the higher seed and would normally be favored because it’s playing at home, but the Hurricanes are without their leading scorer Durand Scott, who is out for the rest of the season after the NCAA suspended him for receiving improper benefits. Miami’s second-leading scorer Kenny Kadji is also slumping. Here’s a short preview.
— Here’s an updated look at the bracket.
Wyoming (21-11) at Washington State (16-16), 7 p.m. — The Cougars knocked off a WCC foe in San Francisco in the CBI opener and now it goes up against a Mountain West representative in the Cowboys. Senior guard Marcus Capers told the Spokesman-Review: “If you look at those leagues, people would say they’ve got better teams. I wouldn’t feel that way. The Pac-12 – or the Pac-10, as it was last year – is filled with a bunch of pros, so I just feel we’re competing. That’s probably just the way to look at it. Us getting two teams into the tournament, Cal not representing the conference so well and (Washington) not even getting in, that’s like two slaps in the face. We’ll just see. I’m rooting for all the Pac-12 teams, and that’s pretty much the mindset going into each of these games.” Here’s a preview of the game.
TCU (18-14) at Oregon State (20-14), 7 p.m. (HDNet) — The high-scoring Beavers face a Horned Frogs team that averages 71.9 points. Sophomore guard Roberto Nelson told the Gazette-Times: “They’re just really fast. They may be a little bit smaller, but they’ve got some guys who can put up points and they’re not shy when it comes to putting up shots. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re not letting them get hot.” Here’s a preview of the game.
— Not much was expected from Colorado, which began the season with a seventh-place finish in the eight-team Puerto Rico Tournament. However, the Buffaloes won the Pac-12 Tournament title and ended the year in the NCAA tournament. Next season expectations will likely be modest once again because CU needs to replace three senior starters. The Buffs return forward Andre Roberson and guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker, the highest scoring freshmen duo in CU history. Coach Tad Boyle also brings in a heralded five-man recruiting class called the Tad Five that ranks among the top 25.
— Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla believes Roberson has star potential.
— Kiszla also writes CU will have to pony up more than $429,000 a year to keep Boyle with the Buffaloes.
— Portland hopes to land the NCAA tournament again in 2014. There’s even talk of Oregon hosting the second and third rounds at $227M Matt Arena and Portland landing the regionals.
— Not necessarily Pac-12 related, but still an interesting read from Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock about the hypocrisy of the NCAA as it pertains to the NCAA tournament and the amateur status of college basketball players.

Comments | Topics: Askia Booker, top 25


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