Sorry for the delay, but had a date with my dentist. A bit of advice — flossing isn’t a suggestion. A big thanks to QBsacker for the video highlights above.
As I said on Twitter last night, that was probably one of the most entertaining games I’ve covered this season. It was an up and down pace, good offense, high intensity and an outstanding atmosphere. That it was the NIT, well, it didn’t seem to matter.
From my game story ..
“We’re still upset we didn’t take care of business when we could have,” said Terrence Ross, who scored a game-high 24 points in perhaps his last home game for the Huskies. “We’re just focusing on this new championship that we were after.”
But with easily the most boisterous crowd of the season, a sold-out Alaska Airlines Arena and a Pacific-12 Conference rival in town, there was little question whether the Huskies would embrace their situation.
The only problem for Washington was that the Ducks (24-10) were equally invested.
What followed was 40 minutes of basketball played seemingly at 80 miles per hour with bodies on the floor, plenty of points on the scoreboard and the final outcome not decided till the very end.
“That was an outstanding basketball game,” Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said. “I think both teams were playing pretty efficient basketball. There were a lot of big plays made. It was one of those ‘well, somebody has to lose’ games.”
In a game where no team seemed to be able to take control, Washington was finally able to gain some semblance of it near the end.
With nine minutes, 28 seconds remaining, Terrence Ross rattled home a turnaround jumpshot and drew a foul. He completed the three-point play to push the lead to 69-65.
The normally reserved Ross pumped his fist and let out a scream.
“It was just a big play, especially in a big game like this,” Ross said.
The play ignited a 9-0 run, punctuated by a Wilcox 3-pointer.
“That was a killer for us,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We just really gave into it there. No communication, read certain screens wrong, made too many mistakes.”
Here’s the AP story from Tim Booth
Here’s Scott Johnson’s game story in the Everett Herald
Todd Dybas wrote this analysis for Sportspress NW
From the Oregon perspective …. Here’s Bob Clark’s game story from the Register Guard. Columnist George Schroeder was also there and wrote about how both teams looked better than NIT teams.
From his column …
They could have. And Tuesday’s entertaining display only confirmed what I’d been thinking: The NCAA Tournament selection committee blew it by inviting only two Pac-12 teams, or at least by leaving out these two Pac-12 teams.
Washington was flat snubbed. You win the Pac-12’s regular-season title, there’s no way you should be in the NIT.
Believe it, Oregon was good enough, too. I spent last weekend in Omaha, Neb., watching the NCAA Tournament. Some of you might have done the same thing in Portland.
No question, the Ducks and Huskies were good enough to play with many of those teams. With the right matchups, both Oregon and Washington might still be alive, and busting people’s brackets.
Instead, they played a rubber match for the season series in the minor-league March madness. Washington goes on to the Big Apple. Oregon goes home.
I know, the RPIs were low, the nonconference losses were bad, the Pac-12 was abysmal. We heard all of that, all season.
Also, both coaches would tell you there’s no one to blame but themselves, and they’re right. The selection committee got it wrong, but the Ducks and Huskies blew their chances.
A free throw here, a defensive stop there, another win and they’d have won their way into the NCAAs.
Not many times UW has a free throw advantage like that. But Tony Wroten made 10 of 14 free throws. Was the form pretty? No. They were rushed a few times and there was a half of a follow through – hence the inconsistencies. But Husky fans will take that effort.