Huskies are over their failure to make the NCAAs, and couldn’t have asked for an opponent more able to stir purple passion than Oregon, especially after a humiliation in Eugene.
GAME: Oregon (24-9, 13-5, Pac-12 at Washington (23-10, 14-4 Pac-12). WHEN: Tuesday, 6 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 292nd (Huskies lead 186-105). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ESPNU. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
The last time the Washington Huskies played the Oregon Ducks, UW had a 16-7 record and led the Pac-12 Conference race by a game over California. By the end of the contest in Eugene Feb. 9, the Huskies had been completely humiliated, 82-57. The only other game in 2011-12 which Washington performed worse: a 19-point shellacking by South Dakota State Dec. 18.
The teams, which split their season series this season, UW winning the first one 76-60 Dec. 31, will meet for a third time. At stake: a trip to New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the semifinal round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Since their last meeting, the Ducks have gone 6-2, their last loss a 63-62 setback to NCAA Tournament-bound Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament.
“I think our guys have a pretty healthy respect for them,” said UW head coach Lorenzo Romar of the Ducks. “They are obviously a very good team. The last time we played them, we were beaten very soundly. As a team we didn’t do a good job. They were very aggressive, getting to loose balls, knocking down their shots. The way they played against us is they way they have been playing lately.”
A lethargic Washington, the Pac-12 regular-season champion, having been eliminated from NCAA Tournament consideration in the Pac-12 tournament by Oregon State, had to rally in order to defeat UT Arlington in the first round of the NIT. UW followed in the second round with a rout of Northwestern.
“One thing that will ease the pain of Selection Sunday (when the Huskies failed to receive an NCAA bid) would be to get to get to New York (for the NIT semis and finals),” Romar said.
SERIES: Dates to 1904, when Washington defeated Oregon 19-16 in Eugene. Washington has won six of the past nine and 14 of the past 21 between the schools, but the Ducks blitzed the Huskies in the last one Feb. 2, 82-57, Washington’s most lopsided defeat of the season. “We weren’t there,” said Romar . . . Washington’s longest winning streak in the series is 16 games from 1929-33. Oregon’s longest winning streak is eight games, from 1938-39.
LAST GAME (Washington, March 16): Terrence Ross scored a career-high 32 points and top-seeded Washington beat fourth-seeded Northwestern 76-55 in the second round of the NIT. Ross added eight rebounds.Teammate C.J. Wilcox had 20 points. John Shurna led Northwestern (19-14) with 24 points. Washington’s leading scorer, Tony Wroten, had just two points, but contributed seven assists and eight rebounds.
LAST GAME (Oregon, March 18): E.J. Singler scored 25 points, Olu Ashaolu had 22 as Oregon defeated Iowa 108-97 in the second round of the NIT. Carlos Emory had 19 points, and Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim scored 15 each for the Ducks (24-9), who rallied from a 15-point deficit in the first half to advance to the quarterfinals. Oregon’s 108 points marked its most in a game since beating UC Riverside 108-67 Dec. 28, 2002.
UW IN THE NIT: Washington is making its first appearance in the NIT since 1997 and its sixth overall. The Huskies also played in 1996, 1987, 1982 and 1980 and are 5-5 after defeating Northwestern Friday. The Huskies have hosted four NIT games and are 3-1 in those contests.
Prior to playing UT Arlington and Northwestern last week, UW last hosted an NIT game March 16, 1987, when the Huskies defeated Boise State 73-68 (UW lost in the third round to Nebraska at Lincoln). In that game, senior guard Greg Hill scored 18 of UW’s 22 points in the final five minutes, including 15 in a row. The only other home NIT game hosted by UW was a 1982 second-rounder the Huskies dropped 69-65 to Texas A&M.
UW STATS/NOTES: UW is averaging 75.4 ppg (2nd, Pac-12) and allowing 69.7 (10th, Pac-12 . . . Washington makes just 61.6 percent of its free throws, 11th in the conference, making these Huskies the third-worst foul shooting team in UW history . . . Washington makes just 34.3 percent of his 3-pointers, 10th in the conference . .. Washington is the conference’s best rebounding team, averaging 40.0 per game.
OREGON STATS/NOTES: Through 33 games, Oregon is scoring 74.0 ppg, third in the Pac-12 and allowing 68.2 . . .Oregon is the third-best free throw shooting team in conference (70.7 percent) . . .Oregon has a poor field goal percentage of 43.8 (10th, Pa-12), but hits the 3-pointers at a 37.8 percent clip, No. 2 . . . Joseph finished the regular season as the Pac-12′s third-leading scorer at 16.0 ppg . . . E.J. Singler averaged 13.4, and also led Oregon in rebounding at 5.6 rpg.
COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times, and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011, when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach when the Huskies won Jan. 21. Romar was selected the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Romar played for the Huskies under head coach Marv Harshman during the 1979-80 seasons (served as team captain his senior year), and then had a five-year NBA career with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). He became a college head coach at Pepperdine in 1997, where he coached for three seasons, then spent three years (1999-02) at St. Louis University before taking the Washington job in 2002-03.
Dana Altman: Altman is in his second season as head coach of the Ducks and in his 23rd as a head coach, with other stops at Creighton, Kansas State and Marshall. In his first season at Oregon, Altman led the Ducks to just the 12th 20-win season in the history of the program. Oregon went 21-8 and 7-11 in conference play. Altman posted the second-highest win total of any first-year UO head coach. Only John Warren (30 wins in 1944-45) had more in his first year. Altman has been a coach of the year in three conferences: Missouri Valley, Big Eight and Southern.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: Who knew the NIT would be more than a trudge? The appearance of Oregon in the third round, with a trip to New York as stakes, makes for an evening of modest amusement. The UW is organizing a “purple-out” fashion statement for attendees, and with revenge in the air, fans can close their eyes and imagine it’s the NCAA tourney.
The Ducks were probably the Pac-12′s hottest team at the end, losing by a point to Pac-12 tourney champ Colorado. But the Huskies are aching to pay back Nike U. with a slap upside the head. Subplot: For whom is Wroten performing: Team or pro scouts? Washington 85, Oregon 80.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: The Ducks obliterated the Huskies the last time. Both teams used the result of that contest to go on significant winning streaks — neither enough to get into the NCAA Tournament, but good enough to make Tuesday’s showdown a very intriguing matchup.
The Huskies overlooked the Ducks, and Oregon has hit its stride since that game.
I think this is going to be a close one. With a trip to New York City on the line, I think Washington, which has snoozed through too many games this season, will come through. Washington 82, Oregon 78.
University of Washington 2011-12 Schedule/Results
(Rankings Are Current)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/4/11||vs. Seattle Pacific||—||—||W||77-60||0-0|
|11/12/11||vs. Georgia State||—||—||W||91-74||1-0|
|11/13/11||vs. Florida Atlantic||—||—||W||77-71||2-0|
|11/20/11||at Saint Louis||—||—||L||77-64||3-1|
|11/25/11||vs. Houston Baptist||—||—||W||88-65||4-1|
|12/2/11||at Nevada||—||—||L||76-73 (OT)||4-2|
|12/16/11||vs. UC Santa-Barbara||—||—||W||87-80||5-4|
|12/18/11||vs. South Dakota St.||—||—||L||92-73||5-5|
|12/22/11||vs. Cal-State Northridge||—||—||W||74-50||6-5|
|12/29/11||vs. Oregon State||—||—||W||95-80||7-5|
|1/10/12||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||W||91-83||10-6|
|1/15/12||vs. Washington St.||—||—||W||75-65||11-6|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||W||60-54||13-7|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||W||75-72||17-8|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||W||77-69||18-8|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||W||59-55||20-8|
@=Jimmy V Classic; #=Carquest Auto Parts Classic; ^=Pac-12 tournament; *=NIT