Despite a win over Washington State Sunday, the Huskies are a longshot to make the NIT. They host USC and UCLA this week in the final two games of the Pac-12 regular season.
GAME: USC (14-15 overall, 9-7 Pac-12) at Washington (16-13 overall, 8-8, Pac-12). WHEN: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 138th (USC leads 69-68). STREAKS: UW W 2; USC W 1. RANKINGS: Neither school ranked. COACHES: Bob Cantu, USC; Lorenzo Romar, Washington. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
The Huskies wrap up the regular-season portion of the schedule with a pair of games this week, starting with USC Wednesday. The Huskies need one more victory to assure themselves of a record above .500, but the Trojans will enter the absurdly late 8:30 p.m. fray coming off victories over Arizona and Arizona State.
Before this season, Washington had not been swept in a two-game, regular-season series since USC snuffed the Huskies twice in 2010. But this year, UW has been taken down twice by Arizona and Oregon. USC and UCLA (Saturday) can double the number of sweeps. If the Trojans and Bruins beat Washington, it would mark the most regular-season sweeps suffered by UW since 2003 (5).
Key for Washington against USC is for C.J. Wilcox to get some open looks. The last time the Huskies and Trojans met, Feb. 10, in Los Angeles, Wilcox didn’t get a shot off in the first 13 minutes and didn’t score in the second half. He finished with eight points in a 71-60 loss.
“I imagine that their (USC’s) approach would be to come at him in a similar fashion,” Romar said. “I know we have a lot of confidence in C.J., but in that particular game they did a very good job on him. They face-guarded him.”
Washington has lost six home games (10-6 overall at Alaska Airlines Arena), which equals the combined number of losses for the past three years, when UW went 49-6. In only two seasons under Romar have the Huskies sustained more home beatings than this year — 2003 and 2008, when they had seven.
USC, 6-2 in its last eight games and 7-5 under interim head coach Bob Cantu, has a lot on the line this week. The Trojans can finish as high as a tie for fourth in the Pac-12 or as low as tied for eighth. Fourth would give USC a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Barring a victory in the Pac-12 Tournament, Washington doesn’t have nearly as much at stake. A sweep might get the Huskies into the NIT, but they are more likely headed for the College Basketball Invitational, an event in which the UW last appeared in 2008 (first-round loss to Valparaiso).
Washington has a 7-9 record against the RPI Top 100, which includes a 3-8 record against the RPI Top 50 and a 1-5 record against AP ranked teams. While the Huskies have three quality wins including RPI #27 Colorado, RPI #41 California, and AP #18 Saint Louis, they’re weighed down by four bad losses, including RPI #186 Oregon State, RPI #182 Utah, RPI #158 Nevada, and RPI #168 Albany.
SERIES: Dates to Feb. 26, 1925, when the Huskies won 40-23 in Los Angeles. Washington has won three of the past five. In the last meeting, Feb. 10, Washington buried itself in a 19-point hole and, despite 16 points from Scott Suggs, couldn’t overcome the deficit. The Trojans held Washington’s leading scorer, C.J. Wilcox, to eight points.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (327-213 overall, 234-123 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies won the Pac-12 regular-season title. 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. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach on Jan. 21, 2012. 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 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.
2012-13 Washington Statistics
USC NOTES: USC opened the season with a pair of victories, then lost eight of 10. The Trojans fired Kevin O’Neill Jan. 14, a day after the Trojans lost to Oregon 76-74. The Trojans have gone 7-5 since . . . USC ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (66.4), 10th in scoring defense (67.3), 12th in scoring margin (-0.9), 10th in field goal percentage (43.1), 3rd in 3-point percentage (35.5) and 10th in rebounding (35.4) . . . USC is coming off a 57-56 win over Arizona State. Eric Wise led the Trojans with 12 points . . . Wise leads the Trojans with a 12.3 average while J.T. Terrell averages 11.2. Dewayne Dedmon leads the club with 7.0 rebounds per game.
USC HEAD COACH: Bob Cantu, named interim head coach Jan. 14, is in his 12th year with the program and in his 17th season overall on the collegiate level. Cantu joined USC in 2000-01 after serving as an assistant at Sacramento State. Cantu received his bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in 1987.
COMING UP: The Huskies close out the regular season against UCLA Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Pac-12 tournament starts March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
University of Washington 2012-13 Schedule
(Rankings From Associated Press)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/11/12||@vs. W. Washington||—||—||W||88-78||0-0|
|11/17/12||*vs. Seton Hall||—||—||W||84-73||2-1|
|11/18/12||*vs. Ohio St.||—||4||L||77-66||2-2|
|11/24/12||vs. Colo. St.||—||—||L||73-55||2-3|
|11/28/12||vs. Saint Louis||—||—||W||66-61||3-3|
|12/13/12||at Seattle U.||—||—||W||87-74||5-4|
|12/15/12||vs. Jackson St.||—||—||W||75-67||6-4|
|12/20/12||vs. Cal Poly||—||—||W||75-62||7-4|
|12/22/12||vs. N. Illinois||—||—||W||67-57||8-4|
|1/23/13||at Oregon St.||—||—||L||74-66||12-7|
|2/16/13||vs. Oregon St.||—||—||W||72-62||14-12|
|4/6/13||#Final 4 Semi||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/8/13||#Final 4 Champ.||—||—||—||—||—|
@=Exhibition; *=Hall of Fame Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament; #=NCAA Tournament