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March 15, 2010 at 7:01 AM

One Shining Moment

Just to get you in the mood, here’s an audio clip of the NCAA Tournament’s theme song “One Shining Moment” performed by composer David Barnett. The song and CBS’ video highlight montage after the end of the tournament is as much a part of the March Madness as Selection Sunday and last-second upsets….

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March 13, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Champions!

romar title.jpg
The Huskies will sleep soundly tonight not worrying about whose bubbled popped and which team might have stolen an at-large berth.
Washington is in the NCAA Tournament. And the Huskies are Pac-10 Tournament champions.
Both accomplishments are major achievements for a team that many on this blog had given up for dead more than a few times this season.
Remember when the Huskies were 1-3 and dead last in the conference standings? Remember the 0-7 road record?
All of it is forgotten now. That’s what a 79-75 win over California, cutting down the nets and holding up a tournament trophy will do. It gives you amnesia. And it wipes away the blemishes on a season that started slowly for the Huskies before picking up in late January.
And now they’re on a roll. Winners of 12 of the past 14 games. Now anything seems possible.
No one inside the Staples Center locker room talked about a deep run in the tournament, perhaps learning from a early season lesson when players predicted a Final Four appearance.
Photo credit: Getty Images – Jeff Gross
Maybe they’re taking their cues from leaders Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas, who refuse to look past the next game.
Thomas is prone to saying: “On to the next,” which is his way of putting the last game behind him and focusing on what’s ahead.
Pondexter also doesn’t dwell on things that aren’t directly in front of him. Tonight, he talked about getting back to practice next week and getting a scout on the team UW plays in the first round.
Lorenzo Romar (above) believes the Huskies matured just in the nick of time. He compares this group to the 2004 team that started 5-8 before winning 14 of the next 17 games. That team made a spectacular late-season run to earn an at-large berth in the tournament. It was sent to Columbus, OH as the eighth seed and lost 102-100 to No. 9 UAB.
The Huskies would be thrilled to receive another eighth seed, and quite frankly there’s some concern where the selection committee will slot UW.
Some players thought they’d swap places with Cal, which was considered a 7-9 seed before today. Washington had been projected as an 11-13 seed.
I haven’t found any updated brackets on the major sites, but rumors quickly spread in the Staples Center that the committee may reward UW and send them to Spokane. It’s all conjecture at the moment and we’ll find out more 3 p.m. Sunday.
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Comments | Topics: top 25

March 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

California game thread

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM — Robertson, Boykin, Randle, Pondexter and UCLA G Michael Roll. Thomas was named the Most Outstanding Player. IT’S OVER — UW 79-75. OVERTON SEALS THE DEAL — Overton went to the line with 2.1 seconds left and made two free throws. LANE VIOLATION — Randle made the first FT and intentionally missed the second one, but…

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Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA

March 13, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Poll question: UW or Cal?

Too many winners among the posters to list from Friday’s Pac-10 Tournament semifinals.
But in the Guess the UW Score game, we have a repeat winner: Baby Yao, who predicted the Huskies would win 78-65. The final score was 79-64. Great job. Congratulations.
Okay, let’s move on.
TODAY’S GAME:
No. 1 California vs No. 3 Washington, 3 p.m. (CBS)

Pac-10 record:
80-66
Give me your pick below on the poll and in the comments thread.

Who wins: No. 1 California or No. 3 Washington?survey software

AND THE WINNER IS …

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March 13, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Bubble watching: UW roots for Purdue, Duke and others

Washington (23-9) has won 11 of its last 13 games and plays in the Pac-10 Tournament finals today, but there’s still some doubt among the bracket gurus about the Huskies’ NCAA tournament candidacy. — ESPN’s Joe Lunardi says they are the 64th entry in the 65-team field at the moment, but as we know his…

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March 13, 2010 at 12:21 AM

Stanford post-game analysis

MBA over zimmerman.JPG
A Washington assistant walked past press row after the Huskies’ 79-64 win over Stanford and asked a simple question.
“We’re in, right?”
“In,” I said.
“You sure?”
“I’m sure. You’re in,” I replied.
Still the Huskies aren’t taking any chances. The school will only host a Selection Sunday viewing party that would be open to the public at the Don James Center if the Huskies beat California tomorrow at 3 p.m. to win the Pac-10 Conference Tournament title and secure the automatic tournament berth.
If UW loses, then they’ll gather privately around TVs on Sunday like everyone else and watch and see what happens.
In my opinion, everything broke just right for the Huskies on Friday. Before their game, Cal knocked off UCLA, which threatened to steal the automatic berth and bump UW on the bubble.

Photo credit: Getty Images – Stephen Dunn

And when the Bruins lost, the Huskies knew their path to the tournament had been cleared of one major obstacle. All that remained was beating Stanford and quite frankly, the outcome was never seriously in doubt.
Washington led from the tip off to the finish and overcame a ragged first half when it shot 28.6 percent from the field (8 of 28). Despite the poor offensive display early in the game, UW was phenomenal on the defensive end where it held Stanford to 19 points and 29.2 percent shooting (7 of 24) in the first half.
The early play was sloppy and difficult to watch, but the Huskies had established a fast-pace tempo and Stanford simply couldn’t sustain the pace after the break. Washington led by as much as 23 points (65-42) and right around that point one of the Huskies fans asked me if the Pac-10 was going to play the ‘Dancin’ Dawgs’ video.
I was thinking the same thing and I found myself instinctively looking for sophomore reserve Brendan Sherrer, who is back in Seattle recovering from an infection.
It’s difficult to single out one player tonight because it felt like a team win. So if we’re handing out game balls (Do they do that in basketball?) let’s give it to the coaching staff.
The game plan was simple and effective: Push the ball. The Huskies attacked at every opportunity. They missed a lot of shots early, but on the sideline the coaches kept encouraging Washington to push. Raphael Chillious screams the loudest so his voice was often heard over the din at Staples Center.
Pushing the ball is a tactic that’s worked in the previous five games and it was the right scheme again as UW won its sixth straight against Stanford.
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Comments | Topics: UCLA

March 12, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Stanford game thread

IT’S OVER — UW 79-64. MORE HIGHLIGHTS — Gant had another fantastic flush. BACK TO THE THREAD — While I was away, the Huskies put the game in the ice box. And there were a few ESPN-worthy highlights performed as well. Bryan-Amaning’s dunk over Zimmerman will make Sports Center. And Darnell Gant also had a nasty…

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Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, Scott Suggs, top 25

March 12, 2010 at 6:09 PM

California-UCLA game thread

POST-GAME ANALYSIS — In then end it was four against one. The Bears received Randle (24 points) , Christopher (20), Robertson (16) and Boykin (10) 70 points from its quartet of senior starters while the Bruins senior starter Roll countered with a game-high 27. Cal’s balance makes it a difficult matchup and the Bears shot…

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Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA

March 12, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Polls, Pac-10 picks and the UW-Stanford winner

Few posters predicted Stanford’s upset victory and only two correctly picked all four games Thursday.
Congratulations to mpolo and Baby Yao.
And in the Guess the UW Score game, hardly anyone predicted the Huskies would win a low-scoring 59-52 contest. But we had a big winner: Co Dawg , who said UW would win 65-56. Nice job.
Okay, let’s move. Just a couple of games left.
TODAY’S GAMES:
No. 1 California vs. No. 5 UCLA, 6: p.m.
No. 3 Washington vs. No. 7 Stanford, 8:40 p.m.
Both games televised on FSN.
My pick: UCLA.
Pac-10 record: 79-65.
And here’s a couple of polls to weigh in on today’s games.

Who wins: No. 1 California or No. 5 UCLA?polling

Who wins: No. 3 Washington or No. 7 Stanford?surveys

 

AND THE UW-STANFORD WINNER IS …

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Comments | Topics: UCLA

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