Maybe the NIT didn’t mean much to the team or to fans at the start. But it certainly matters to both tonight as the Huskies play rival Oregon at 6 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena. There are still some tickets available if you want to go up and watch two pretty good offensive teams go at it for a trip to New York City.
Obviously one of the bigger storylines is the idea of revenge for the trouncing Oregon laid on the Huskies in February.
From my story…
Would they rather play some team from the Big Ten in Iowa, or would they rather play the Oregon Ducks, their Pacific-12 Conference rival who embarrassed them during the conference season and might have kept them from an NCAA invitation?
The answer was simple and the same. To a man, every Huskies player who was asked wanted another date with the Ducks.
“I would love to play them,” guard Tony Wroten said after the Northwestern game. “They pretty much embarrassed us last time. We want revenge.”
The Huskies got their wish Sunday when Oregon routed Iowa, 108-97, setting up tonight’s showdown.
“You look at all of the games, guys will remember that one because we were beat so soundly that night,” Romar said. “It makes for a good story line – can’t wait for revenge and all of that.”
Romar has often joked that no matter what the Huskies do in the future, even if they make the Final Four, someone will still bring up the 82-57 loss in Eugene on Feb. 9.
Why? It was that bad.
“You’ll always remember that,” senior Darnell Gant said. “A loss like that it always lingers and never goes away.”
It was one of a handful of games this season in which the Huskies weren’t competitive.
The game at Eugene, Ore., might have been the worst.
Senior guard Garrett Sim scored the first eight points of the game for Oregon and the Ducks never looked back. Oregon did what it wanted and Washington could do nothing to stop it. The Ducks shot 64.3 percent from the field in the first half and 56.4 percent for the game. Meanwhile, the Huskies couldn’t finish the open looks they were getting.
“I’ve never been beaten like that,” Wroten said.
Here’s the AP preview story
Here’s Scott Johnson’s preview in the Everett Herald.