Washington closes out its Pac-12 regular season Saturday with an unusual 11 a.m. start time at Alaska Airlines Arena. The conference tournament begins Wednesday in Las Vegas.
GAME: UCLA (22-8 overall, 12-5 Pac-12) at Washington (17-13 overall, 9-8, Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 11 a.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 134th (UCLA leads 93-40). STREAKS: UW W 3; UCLA L 1. RANKINGS: UCLA 23d AP. COACHES: Ben Howland, UCLA; Lorenzo Romar, Washington. TV: CBS. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
The Washington Huskies close out their Pac-12 regular-season schedule Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena hoping to continue recent home dominance of UCLA. UW’s eight-game winning streak over the Bruins dates to 2005, when current Husky players were in either in middle or elementary school.
Eight in a row is UCLA’s longest losing streak on a conference opponent’s court since World War II. During the run of Washington wins, UCLA has been ranked four times.
“That place (Alaska Airlines Arena) is just hard to play in,” junior forward Travis Wear told The Los Angeles Times this week. “Their fans are really crazy and they are close to the court. They’re clever too. Washington gets in your face and the fans can really get them going.”
Twice, losses at Washington have cost the Bruins at least a share of the conference championship. They finished a game behind the first-place Huskies in 2009 and a game back of Arizona in 2011.
UCLA, which edged Washington 59-57 Feb. 7, is led by Shabazz Muhammad’s 18.1 points per game and Jordan Adams’ 15.1. Kyle Anderson tops the Bruins with 9.0 rebounds per game.
The Bruins, 12-5 in Pac-12 play, are tied with Oregon for firs and have an outside shot at the Pac-12 title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which starts Wednesday in Las Vegas. If UCLA beats Washington and the Ducks beat Utah Saturday, the Ducks will receive the No. 1 seed on the basis of owning the tiebreaker with UCLA (Ducks won the only meeting between the teams Jan. 19).
Washington’s spot in the tournament’s seedings will be determined by how the weekend games shake out. The Huskies could be seeded anywhere from fifth to eighth.
Washington has a 7-9 record against the RPI Top 100, which includes a 3-8 record against the RPI Top 50 (UCLA is 38th) and a 0-5 record against AP ranked teams (UCLA is 23rd). While the Huskies, who have lost nine in a row to ranked teams, 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.
The Huskies will honor three players and manager Nick Mantranga as part of Senior Day Saturday. Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye and Scott Suggs are playing their last regular-season game. The Huskies are 77-37 in games in which Gaddy has appeared, 77-34 in games played by Suggs and 64-34 in games played by N’Diaye.
If the Huskies beat the Bruins, it will mark the first time since 1934, when Hec Edmundson coached the team, that the Huskies have started a conference season with four wins and ended it with four wins.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 30, 1936, when the Huskies won 52-31 in Los Angeles. Washington has won four of the past six meetings, but lost the last one 59-57 Feb. 7 when senior guard Larry Drew hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. Shabazz Muhammad scored a game-high 22 points for UCLA while C.J. Wilcox led the Huskies with 15. Aziz N’Diaye had a double-double for Washington, 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Lorenzo Romar is 11-11 all-time against UCLA, while Ben Howland is 8-12 against UW.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (328-213 overall, 235-123 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
UCLA NOTES: UCLA opened the season with 10 consecutive victories, then lost three of its next four to drop out of the national rankings . . . The Bruins returned to the national ranks with a four-game winning streak Feb. 16-March 2 . . . UCLA is coming off a brutal 73-61 loss Wednesday to Washington State in Pullman, a defeat that snapped the Bruins’ 19-game winning streak in the Palouse that dated to 1993. In the loss, Jordan Adams scored 18 points.
UCLA HEAD COACH: Ben Howland is in his 10th year as head coach of the Bruins. In his first nine years, Howland guided the Bruins to six NCAA Tournament appearances, three consecutive Final Four appearances (2006-08) and three conference regular-season titles (2006-08). Howland has been a conference Coach of the Year in three leagues, Pac-10 (UCLA), Big East (Pittsburgh) and Big Sky (Northern Arizona). A native of Lebanon, OR., Howland is a graduate of Weber State University (Ogden, UT).
COMING UP: The Pac-12 tournament starts Wednesday 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