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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 13, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Morning links: UW’s postseason chances appear favorable

Desmond Simmons secures a rebound during Washington's 67-61 loss to Utah in the firs round of the Pac-12 Tournament. (Photo credit: Nate Barrett/Eric Evans Photography)

Desmond Simmons secures a rebound during Washington’s 67-61 loss to Utah in the firs round of the Pac-12 Tournament. (Photo credit: Nate Barrett/Eric Evans Photography)

The Huskies are bubble watching this week.

They’re keeping a close eye on the NCAA tournament bubble, the National Invitation Tournament bubble and even the College Basketball Invitation bubble. Who knew there was such a thing. But there is.

According to a couple of projections, Washington will earn a berth in the NIT and could host a game. The Bracket Project has UW as a No. 6 seed hosting Missouri. While NYCbuckets.com projects Washington as a No. 3 seed hosting No. 6 seed Saint Mary’s. If that came materialized it would be pretty interesting as it would pit coach Lorenzo Romar against his good buddy Randy Bennett.

And here’s another look at the NIT bubble with a projected CBI bracket. For what it’s worth, the Huskies would decline a berth to the CBI.

Of course most of these projections were made before Washington’s 67-61 loss to Utah in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament and its unclear how the early departure will affect the Huskies’ postseason chances.

Still, the projections indicate Washington will play at least another game and return to the NIT for a third straight year. The bracket, seeds and pairings for the 32-team tournament will be announced during the NIT Selection Show, which airs 5:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.

In terms of Wednesday’s game, we pretty much wrapped things up in a postgame summary.

But here’s the game stories in the Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Associated Press, News Tribune and GoHuskies.com.

Larry Stone is in Las Vegas and he offers commentary on the state of the Huskies.

And Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Krapthorpe writes: “This victory was worth so much, in so many ways. If the Utes had lost again in the end, after blowing so many chances in conference play and leading Washington by 10 points at halftime, it would have been tempting to say they underachieved this season. Instead, they proved they learned something from all those unhappy endings, and they got it right this time.

Here’s the video highlights courtesy of the Pac-12 Networks.

And here’s the box score and season stats.

THURSDAY MORNING LINKS:

— No. 11 seed Washington State lost 74-63 to No. 6 seed Stanford in what could be coach Ken Bone’s last game with the Cougars. WSU finished 10-21 this season and it’s 80-86 in five years under Bone. He has two years and $1.7M remaining on his contract.

— Stanford’s win likely secured a NCAA tournament berth for the Cardinal (20-11) and secured coach Johnny Dawkins’ return next season.

Askia Booker scored 21 points and keyed a late run, leading No. 5 seed Colorado to a 59-56 win over scrappy No. 12 seed USC in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Despite beating USC twice during the regular season, Colorado (22-10) had a hard time shaking the Trojans, unable to get much separation until going on a 13-1 run late in the second half. Josh Scott had 13 points and Xavier Johnson 11 for the Buffaloes.

USC had a shot at the end, but Byron Wesley’s three-pointer at the buzzer came up just short. He finished with 23 points for the Trojans, who kept it close despite going 5 of 22 from 3-point range. USC was still right with the Buffaloes in the second half, answering every time they tried to pull away, then taking a five-point lead midway through. The Trojans finish their season at 11-21 under first-year coach Andy Enfield.

Joseph Young scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and No. 7 seed Oregon pulled away for an 88-74 victory over No. 10 seed Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The 342nd meeting between the Civil War rivals was their first in the conference tournament and carried plenty of postseason implications for both teams. Oregon firmed up its NCAA tournament resume with an eighth straight win. The defending tournament champion Ducks (23-8) came through after a shaky start, relying on their depth and superb second-half shooting. Jason Calliste scored 17 points and Oregon hit 16 of 20 shots in the second half.

Angus Brandt scored 20 points and Roberto Nelson 19 against Oregon. Oregon State’s postseason hopes took a serious blow. The Beavers (16-15) are sitting on the NIT bubble. They’re hoping for an invite, which would be a step in the right direction for the program. OSU hasn’t appeared in the NIT since 2005. The Beavers have made three trips to the CBI under coach Craig Robinson who said this was going to be the year when they would make it to the NCAA tournament. However, it’s been 24 years since Oregon State has participated in the Big Dance. The last time was in 1990.

Aaron Gordon used to draw a lot of comparisons to Blake Griffin. However, Greg Hansen at the Arizona Daily Star believes Arizona’s star freshman compares favorably to¬†Scottie Pippen. Personally, I believe Gordon will play a role similar to Reggie Evans once he gets to the NBA.

— Arizona State star sophomore guard Jahii Carson likes Las Vegas.

— UCLA star sophomore guard Kyle Anderson is ready to show he’s doesn’t lack confidence or intensity.

TODAY’S PAC-12 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

No. 1 Arizona (28-3) vs. No. 8 Utah (21-10), 12:06 p.m. PT ……….. Pac-12 Networks
No. 4 California (19-12) vs. No. 5 Colorado (22-10), 2:36 p.m. …… Pac-12 Networks
No. 2 UCLA (23-8) vs. No. 7 Oregon (23-8), 6:06 p.m. ……………… Pac-12 Networks
No. 3 Arizona State (21-10) vs. No. 6 Stanford (20-11), 8:40 p.m. … Pac-12 Networks

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