UW Opens Pac-10 Tourney as No. 2 Seed
March 8, 2004
Thursday - Saturday, March 11-13
Staples Center (18,964); Los Angeles, Calif.
THURSDAY, MARCH 11 --
(#2 seed) Washington vs. (#7) UCLA; 6:15 p.m. PST
Fox Sports Net
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
FRIDAY, MARCH 12 --
Winner vs. (#3) Arizona/(#6) USC winner; 8:45 pm PST
Fox Sports Net
SATURDAY, MARCH 13 --
Championship Game; 3:15 p.m. PST
Winners of 12 of their last 14 games, the Washington Huskies (17-10, 12-6) finished second in the regular-season Pac-10 standings for the first time since 1986. Their reward for earning the No. 2 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament is a first-round meeting, Thursday, Mar. 11 against UCLA (11-16, 7-11) which is the only team to defeat UW twice this season. Tip-off is 6:15 p.m. at Staples Center in Los Angeles for the game that airs live on Fox Sports Net. The Bruins captured a pair of close contests against UW, winning an 86-84 overtime game in Seattle and 80-75 in Los Angeles. Thursday's first-round winner meets the winner of the contest between No. 3 seed Arizona and No. 6 seed USC on Friday at 8:45 p.m. Washington dramatically enhanced it's NCAA Tournament chances in the regular-season finale with a 75-62 upset over No. 1 and previously undefeated Stanford.
Every Pac-10 Tournament game will be televised live, including Saturday's championship tilt that airs live on CBS at 3:15 p.m. Thursday's four first-round games and both semifinal contests on Friday will be televised live on Fox Sports Net. Steve Physioc, Marques Johnson and Jim Watson call the action for UW's first-round game.
All UW men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Radio Network. Thursday's game against UCLA will be broadcast on flagship station KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. In the event of a conflict with KJR, UW games will air on both KHHO (AM 850) and KKNW (AM 1150). Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 17th season. He is joined by commentator Jason Hamilton.
The conference tournament winner receives the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This is the seventh Pac-10 Tournament and the third since the post-season affair was restored after being terminated following the 1990 season. In the four Pac-10 events between 1987-90, all 10 conference teams participated. Washington has a 3-5 record in Pac-10 Tournament play and lost it last four outings. The Huskies participated only once in current the eight-team format, losing 86-64 to Oregon in a 2002 first-round matchup. Washington advanced to the 1987 championship game, losing 76-64 to UCLA.
Like the Phoenix of mythology, the Huskies have risen from the ashes of an 0-5 conference start. Just 41 days after residing in last place Washington vaulted into sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 standings with a 89-84 victory at Arizona on Feb. 26. Saturday's 75-62 triumph over No. 1 Stanford clinched the Huskies' first second-place finish since 1986. UW won 12 of its last 13 Pac-10 games, its best streak ever.
Washington had five double-figure scorers in each of the last four games. UW boasts a balanced offense with five players averaging double-figure points. The last time five Huskies finished a season in double figures was the 1975 campaign. Seven different players have led UW in scoring during a game and five had a 20-point games.
The pivotal point in Washington's season came Jan. 17 in Corvallis, Ore. The Huskies were 0-5 in Pac-10 play and trailed Oregon State 70-54 with six minutes remaining. They rallied with Nate Robinson hitting a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and won 103-99 in overtime. That ignited a string of five consecutive victories that ended Feb. 7 at UCLA. The five-game winning streak was the longest for the Huskies since 1999.
UW has a 3-5 all-time record in Pac-10 Tournament play and reached the championship game once, in 1987 ... Reserve guard Tre Simmons led all UW scorers in three of the last four games, averaging 16.3 points during that span ... The Huskies clinched their second runner-up finish in Pac-10 play. They were second in 1986 after tying for their only Pac-10 team titles in 1984 and 1985 ... UW has 12 conference wins for first time since the 1986 squad went 13-5 ... Five Huskies registered double-figure points in each of the last four games. UW has six games this season with five double-figure scorers ... The Huskies were credited with a remarkable 27 assists on their 33 field goals at Arizona (Feb. 26) ... UW swept a road series in Arizona for the first time since 1984, before Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy were born ... The Huskies have rallied from double-digit deficits in four victories this season: at Oregon State (16), vs. Arizona (11), at USC (11) and vs. Oregon (13) ... Bobby Jones' career-high 22-point output at North Carolina State (Feb. 22) made him the fifth Husky to reach the 20-point plateau in a game this season ... Washington's loss at N.C. State was its first in the 14 games this season when they led at halftime ... UW overcame four halftime deficits to win games ... The team that leads at halftime has a 22-5 record in Husky games ... Brandon Roy tallied 30 points at UCLA (Feb. 7) and Nate Robinson had 31 vs. Arizona (Jan. 29), marking the first season two Huskies had 30-point games in six years. In 1998, Todd MacCulloch and Deon Luton were the last 30-point duo ... UW players combined for seven double-figure rebound games after registering only three in 2003.
The Pac-10 resurrected its Conference Tournament in 2002, the league's first postseason championship since 1990. Unlike the previous tournament structure in which all 10 conference teams participated, the current format adds intrigue to the regular season. Only the top eight teams in the final regular-season standings qualify for the tournament. Oregon won the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament while Washington did not qualify due to its ninth-place finish in the regular-season standings. As it did the last two years, the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament takes place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The tournament is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, culminating with the championship game, Saturday, March 13. The winner receives an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The Pac-10 Tournament was previously held for four seasons from 1987-90.
Washington is averaging 81.3 points per game, the highest scoring output since the 1972 Huskies finished with a school record 84.8-point average. UW ranks second among Pac-10 teams in scoring and was listed No. 7 last week among NCAA Division I teams at 81.8 points per game. The Huskies have reached the 100-point plateau twice for the first time since the 1980-81 season. The 103-99 overtime decision at Oregon State (Jan. 17) matched the highest total ever for UW in an enemy arena. It equaled a 103-70 win at Washington State on Feb. 1, 1975. The 104-91 win over Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) marked UW's highest point total in 311 games, dating to a 130-67 win over Chico State on Dec. 1, 1992. It was UW's first 100-point effort in 159 games, dating to a 101-86 win at USC on Jan. 29, 1998. The Huskies reached the 90-point plateau eight times this season, a figure they reached only once last year. This is the most 90-point plus performances for a Washington team since the 1972 squad registered 12.
Did You Know?
Washington won its last seven conference games, tying the school record for consecutive Pac-10 victories. UW's current streak began Feb. 12 against Oregon. The Huskies won seven straight Pac-10 games in the same season once before, from Jan. 4-30, 1986. UW had seven straight wins over two seasons, from Mar. 12, 1983-Jan. 21, 1984.
The UCLA Series
> The Bruins boast an 86-29 series lead after winning the last six, and 30 of the last 36 meetings against Washington.
> UCLA swept the regular-season series for the 30th time, winning an 86-84 overtime decision in Seattle and an 80-75 victory in Los Angeles.
> The Bruins are the only team to defeat Washington twice this season. The Huskies' Feb. 7 loss at Pauley Pavilion was the only loss in their last 13 Pac-10 games.
> Washington assistant coach Cameron Dollar was a four-year letterman point guard at UCLA from 1994-97, helping the Bruins to three Pac-10 championships and the 1995 NCAA title. He played three seasons for Jim Harrick and one for Steve Lavin. Dollar hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer against Washington, lifting UCLA to a 91-88 overtime win on Mar. 7, 1996 at Pauley Pavilion.
> In his first year at UCLA, Ben Howland has a 2-0 record against the Huskies.
> Second-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has an 0-4 record against UCLA, the only Pac-10 foes he has not defeated. Romar served four seasons as an assistant on Jim Harrick's UCLA staff from 1993-96, including the 1995 NCAA Championship year.
This Season's Last Meeting
UCLA 80, UW 75 (Feb. 7, 2004/Los Angeles)
T.J. Cummings scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half as UCLA took control early and held off a late Washington rally en route to an 80-75 victory. The Bruins (10-9, 6-5) snapped a six-game losing streak while stopping UW's five-game winning streak. Cummings hit all seven of his shots before halftime, lifting the Bruins to a 35-23 advantage. The lead stretched to 73-62 on a free throw by Ryan Hollins with 2:52 left to play. The Huskies (10-9, 5-6) staged an 11-1 run, drawing within 76-75 on two Brandon Roy free throws with 38 seconds remaining. Dijon Thompson and Cedric Bozeman each converted two free throws inside the final 30 seconds to secure the lead while UW missed two 3-point attempts. Roy was the only Husky in double figures with a career-high 30 points. Cummings finished 9-for-12 from the field and had 11 boards to lead a 40-30 UCLA rebounding margin. Trevor Ariza scored 12 points for the Bruins while Thompson had 11 and Michael Fey 10. UCLA shot 63 percent (15-24) in the second half and 53 percent (31-59) for the game.
This Season's First Meeting
UCLA 86, UW 84 ot (Jan. 10, 2004/Seattle)
Dijon Thompson sank two free throws with 10.5 seconds left in overtime, lifting UCLA to an 86-84 win over Washington at Bank of America Arena. T.J. Cummings scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half, helping the Bruins (8-3, 4-0) build a 38-27 halftime advantage. The margin grew to as many as 17 points in the second half. UCLA led 70-57 before Washington (5-7, 0-4) started an 18-4 run on two Nate Robinson free throws with 3:14 left in regulation. Tre Simmons capped the run with a layin at 0:44 the put the Huskies ahead 75-74. UCLA's Trevor Ariza forced overtime on a free throw with 38 seconds remaining. Ariza tallied five of his 21 points during the extra session. UW had a chance to tie the game after Thompson's decisive free throws. Will Conroy missed a shot, leaving only .02 seconds for an inbounds play to Brandon Roy who was unable to tip in the ball in traffic. Conroy scored a season-high 29 points, hitting 9 of 15 shots while also contributing seven rebounds and five assists. Robinson had 18 for UW and Roy 16. Thompson finished with 13 points for UCLA which also got 12 from Michael Fey. The Bruins shot 52 percent (35-68) from the field while limiting UW to 41 percent (29-71).
Party Like it's 1999
Turn the clock back five years to 1999. That's the last time Washington had a winning season and participated in the NCAA Tournament. That's also the last time the Huskies performed some feats they have accomplished this season. UW has clinched its first winning record (17-10) since the 1999 squad went 17-12. UW registered its first five-game winning streak since 1999, including a Jan. 29 upset of No. 9 Arizona. The last time UW had beaten a top-10 ranked foe was on Feb. 4, 1999 with a 90-84 win over No. 10 Arizona. The Huskies beat Arizona State (Jan. 31) to complete their first weekly sweep against a pair of Pac-10 travel partners since 1999. UW sold out both games last week, the first back-to-back sellouts since the 1999 campaign.
Thirteen is not an unlucky number for the Huskies who have registered five of this season's victories by exactly 13 points. Washington upset No. 1 Stanford (Mar. 6) by a 75-62 tally and won 96-83 over No. 9 Arizona (Jan. 29), 75-62 at Washington State (Jan. 24), 104-91 over Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) and 91-78 over UC Riverside (Nov. 24).
When the Huskies shoot well, they usually win. The opposite is also true. Washington has a perfect 11-0 record in games during which it shot 50 percent or higher. UW is 6-10 when its field goal mark is below 50 percent. The Huskies have a 14-1 record when their field goal percentage is superior or equal to its opponent, the only setback coming Feb. 22 at North Carolina State. UW is 3-9 when being outshot from the field. The Huskies shot 50 percent or higher in eight of their last 14 games and just three times in the first 13 games.
Streaky Washington (3 wins ... 3 losses ... 2 wins ... 5 losses ... 5 wins ... 1 loss ... 3 wins ... 1 loss ... 4 wins) won 12 of its last 14 games immediately following a five-game losing streak. The Huskies lost their opening five Pac-10 games before embarking on their first five-game winning streak since the 1999 season. Included in that stretch were three consecutive road victories that matched UW's longest such streak ever since Pac-10 play began in 1979. The 1998 UW team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 was the last to string three Pac-10 road wins together. The Huskies also tied a school record with their current streak of seven straight Pac-10 wins. The Huskies current streak of 12 wins in their last 13 conference games is the school's best streak ever in Pac-10 play.
Washington has started five different lineups. The current unit opened 12 of the last 13 games, missing only the final home game in which senior Curtis Allen started in place of Nate Robinson. The current group features four sophomores (Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones, Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy) and one junior (Will Conroy). Last year, the Huskies implemented nine unique lineups and Will Conroy was the only player to start every game. Conroy did not start this year's season opener against Portland State, stopping a streak of 34 consecutive starting assignments. Brandon Roy and Mike Jensen are the only two Huskies to start all 27 games.
The road had been unkind to Washington ... until this season. The Huskies have a 6-7 overall record away from home, with a 5-4 conference ledger that marks their first winning Pac-10 road record since 1986 (6-3). The Huskies posted only one Pac-10 road win in each of the previous three seasons: at Oregon (2001), at Oregon State (2002) and at USC (2003). They had a 3-29 record in their previous 32 conference road contests before finishing this season with victories in five of their last six away contests. Last week's two wins at the Arizona schools marked UW's first sweep of a road trip since 1998 and the first sweep at Arizona and ASU since 1984. The 89-84 win at No. 17 Arizona stopped a streak of 24 straight UW road losses against ranked teams. The Arizona trip capped a trying 10-day span from Feb. 20-29 during which the Huskies traveled over 7,500 miles. That journey included a trip to 13th-ranked North Carolina State which rallied to edge UW 77-72 on Feb. 22 in Raleigh. UW matched its longest Pac-10 road winning streak with wins at Oregon State, Washington State and USC. UW had five previous three-game road winning streaks since Pac-10 play began in 1979.
Sophomore Bobby Jones ranks second among Huskies in rebounds with 5.1 per game, a figure that ranks 18th among Pac-10 players. He ranks third among conference competitors with a team-leading field goal accuracy of 56.7 percent. Jones ranks third among UW players with 32 steals. He amassed a career-high 22 points, on 10-for-13 shooting, at North Carolina State (Feb. 22). Jones tallied 10 or more points in 18 games this season after reaching double figures just five times all last season. A defensive specialist last season, Jones started the final 15 games in 2003 and ranked No. 7 on the team with 5.7 points per game. He nearly doubled that total to 11.2 points this year.
There is no 'y' in his first name, but he is known for hitting the trey. Junior Tre Simmons led all Washington scorers seven times, tying Brandon Roy for the team lead. Simmons topped the Huskies in three of the last four games, averaging 16.3 points during that span. He broke open a one-point game in the second half of Saturday's 75-62 win over No. 1 Stanford with three straight 3-pointers. Simmons hit at least one 3-pointer in six of the last seven games and has 11 multiple-trey outings this season. Simmons poured in a career-high 22 points at Arizona (Feb. 26), including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Brandon Roy is a rising star in his first full collegiate season. The 6-6 swingman received the March 1 Pac-10 Player of the Week award after leading UW to a sweep in the state of Arizona. The last time the Huskies had a road sweep in Arizona was during January of 1984, six months before Roy was born. He leads the team in points (13.4) and rebounds (5.4), figures that rank No. 12 and No. 13 among Pac-10 players. Roy ranks second on UW in both assists (92) and steals (35). He amassed a career-high 30 points in 29 minutes at UCLA (Feb. 7), eclipsing his previous high of 22 points registered against UC Riverside (Nov. 24). At Houston on Dec. 20 Roy became the first player in UW history to lead the team in the five major statistics during a single game. Roy amassed 19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. Roy was a consensus top-50 national recruit among the prep class of 2002, but was not declared eligible by the NCAA until Jan. 16, 2003. He played 13 games with two starts last season, averaging 6.1 points per game. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during the final four games of 2003. Roy applied for the 2002 NBA Draft out of high school, but did not attend any pre-draft camps and withdrew his application prior to the draft. He is the fourth product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current UW roster.
Nate the Great
High-flying Nate Robinson raised his game to a higher level during Pac-10 play. He won the Feb. 2 Pac-10 Player of the Week award after leading UW to a home sweep of the Arizona schools. Robinson scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added five rebounds and five steals during UW's 96-83 upset of ninth-ranked Arizona (Jan. 29). The 5-9 guard leads UW with a 14.6-point scoring average in conference games, an increase of 6.6 points from his average of 8.0 points against non-conference competition. Robinson posted double-figure points in 13 of 17 Pac-10 games after posting only three double-digit efforts in nine non-conference outings. Robinson tallied 23 of his 25 points after halftime at Oregon State (Jan. 17), including a 3-pointer inside the final second that forced overtime in UW's 103-99 win. He ranks second among Pac-10 players in free throw percentage (87.1%), third in steals (46) and 18th in scoring (12.4).
Sophomore Nate Robinson and his 40-inch vertical leap will concentrate on basketball this season after having a huge impact last year on both the hardwood and the gridiron. In 2003, Robinson garnered Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 Freshman Team honors in basketball after leading UW with a 13.0-point scoring average. He had eight points in 23 minutes Jan. 2, 2003 against UCLA after starting two days earlier in UW's 34-24 loss to Purdue in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31. Robinson registered 17 double-figure outings and topped all UW scorers a team-high 11 times in his 23 games. The 5-9 leaper was spectacular in his second collegiate outing, amassing 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 18 minutes at Santa Clara (Dec. 7). He followed that up with another 19-point effort, against Eastern Washington (Dec. 14). Robinson suited up, but did not play in the Nov. 24, 2002 season opener, one day after grabbing a critical interception for the Husky football team that upset No. 3 Washington State 29-26 in Pullman. Robinson was a prep All-American in both football and basketball. He started at cornerback in the final six Husky football games of 2002 and recorded two interceptions. Robinson averaged 17.2 yards on six kick-off returns. He entered UW on a football scholarship, but switched to basketball prior to this season. He was the 2002 Washington Class AAA state basketball player of the year after averaging 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals for state champion Rainier Beach of Seattle. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a standout running back on the UW football team and ranks seventh among all-time Huskies with 2,300 career yards. Jacque is the only player to earn MVP honors in both the Rose (1982) and Orange (1985) Bowls.
High School Reunion
Every time the Huskies take the floor it amounts to a reunion of alums from Seattle's Garfield High School. Four former prep teammates are listed on the Washington roster; juniors Will Conroy and Tre Simmons along with sophomores Brandon Roy and Anthony Washington. The quartet of former Bulldogs has combined to score 1,058 of UW's 2,196 points in the 27 regular-season games, an average of 39.2 points per game. They have accounted for 48 percent of the Huskies' total offensive output. A Garfield grad has led or tied the team in scoring during 18 games this season. Roy (13.4) and Conroy (12.3) are UW's No. 1 and No. 3 scorers. Their Garfield team also featured current USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback a red-shirt freshman who plays on the Husky football team.
The most improved player in the Pac-10 last season was point guard Will Conroy, now a junior at Washington. His 12.7-point sophomore scoring average was 10.2 better than his freshman average of 2.5 points, the largest improvement by any Pac-10 player in 2003. Conroy currently ranks third among all Husky scorers with 12.3 points per game, a figure that ranks 19th among Pac-10 players. Conroy is UW's top playmaker. He has distributed 124 assists, an average of 4.6 per game that ranks sixth among Pac-10 players. He is eighth among single-season UW playmakers. Conroy has registered the 23rd 100-assist season in Husky history. He had 108 assists last season and is the sixth Husky to post back-to-back 100-assist seasons, the first since Jaime Booker in 1996 and 1997. Conroy's assist/turnover ratio of 1.72 (124 assists/72 turnovers) is the eighth best among Pac-10 players.
Producing Point Guards
UW point guards Will Conroy (Garfield HS) and Nate Robinson (Rainier Beach HS) both hail from the city of Seattle. The Emerald City has produced some jewels on the hardwood, a legacy of point guards that is highlighted by former Arizona standout Jason Terry and Michigan's Jamal Crawford. Three Pac-10 schools may start Seattle natives at the point this season, including Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) at Oregon and Rodrick Stewart (Rainier Beach HS) at USC along with the UW duo. Other prominent point guards from the state of Washington include Gonzaga's John Stockton (Spokane) and Dan Dickau (Prairie), Oregon's Luke Ridnour (Blaine) and current Florida freshman Ryan Appleby (Stanwood).
Last UW Game
UW 75, #1 Stanford 62 (Mar. 6, 2004/Seattle)
Tre Simmons scored 16 points, including three straight 3-pointers that opened the game up for Washington which dealt No. 1 Stanford its first defeat, 75-62 before a record crowd of 10,086 at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (17-10, 12-6) clinched sole possession of second place with just their second victory over a top-ranked team in 28 all-time meetings. Stanford (26-1, 17-1) led by four points early before Simmons gave UW the lead for good on a trey at 12:39. The Huskies led 35-25 at halftime, but failed to score in the opening six minutes of the second half. The Cardinal cut the deficit to one during the drought and trailed 39-38 with 11 minutes remaining before Simmons' trio of triples forged a 48-40 advantage with 7:59 to play. The Cardinal, who had 18 turnovers and shot 39 percent (27-69) never drew closer than four. Five Huskies netted double figures, including Mike Jensen and Nate Robinson with 13 along with Brandon Roy and Will Conroy with 12. Chris Hernandez paced Stanford with 21 points and Josh Childress had 15.
Quicksilver guard Curtis Allen is the lone senior on the Washington roster. He ranks second among all-time Huskies with 148 career 3-pointers. The record is 212 treys by Deon Luton (1997-2000). Allen hit six treys at Wyoming (Dec. 6). He has amassed 951 points during his career and needs 49 more to become the 28th player in UW history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Allen's current career free throw mark of 86.5 percent (199-230) is the best in school history. He ranks sixth among all-time Pac-10 players. Former UCLA standout Rod Foster (1980-83) leads at 88.0 percent.
Season in Review
The Huskies opened the season with four consecutive home games. They defeated Portland State (Nov. 21), UC Riverside (Nov. 24) and Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) before losing 86-62 to 17th-ranked Gonzaga (Dec. 3) ... Washington lost road games at Wyoming (Dec. 6) and Houston (Dec. 20) before a 92-81 triumph at San Diego State (Dec. 27) ... The Huskies defeated Columbia (Dec. 30) 81-55, their first home game in 27 days ... UW opened Pac-10 play with a five-game losing streak ... That streak was followed by a five-game winning streak that began when the Huskies rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to post a 103-99 overtime win at Oregon State (Jan. 17) ... UW completed back-to-back Pac-10 road wins for the first time in four years with a 75-62 win at Washington State (Jan. 24), its first win in Pullman since 2000 ... Nate Robinson amassed 31 points to lead UW to a 96-83 home triumph over No. 9 Arizona and snap an eight-game losing streak against the Wildcats ... Tre Simmons scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half of the Huskies' 90-81 win over Arizona State (Jan. 31) ... Five players scored in double figures as UW won 93-82 at USC (Feb. 5) ... The five-game winning streak was halted at UCLA (Feb. 7) as UW lost 80-75 despite the career-high 30 points from Brandon Roy ... The Huskies rallied from a 13-point deficit with just over nine minutes to play, defeating Oregon 83-74 (Feb. 12) in Seattle ... Nate Robinson completed a three-point play with 0:12 remaining, lifting UW to an 80-79 win over Oregon State (Feb. 14). The Huskies swept the Beavers for the first time since 1999 ... Mike Jensen hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining, leading UW to a 71-67 win over Washington State and a sweep of the season series ... The Huskies capped their non-conference schedule with a 77-72 loss at No. 13 North Carolina State, finishing with a 5-4 mark outside of Pac-10 play ... UW snapped a 13-game losing streak in the state of Arizona by defeating No. 17 Arizona 89-84 (Feb. 26) for its first win at McKale Center since 1996 ... The Huskies routed Arizona State 96-72 (Feb. 28) to complete their first road sweep in Arizona since 1984 ... UW defeated California (Mar. 4) 76-58 before capping the regular season with a 75-62 upset of No. 1 and previously undefeated Stanford (Mar. 6). The sweep of the Bay Area schools clinched sole possession of second place, UW's first runner-up Pac-10 finish since 1986.
Washington registered its third consecutive winning non-conference record, posting a 5-4 mark outside of Pac-10 play. Two of UW's losses came against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press poll, No. 4 (Gonzaga) and No. 14 (N.C. State). Last year the Huskies finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 5-4 record following a 6-5 ledger in 2001.
Home Sweet Home
The Huskies play all of their home games in recently renovated Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. The pavilion underwent a 19-month renovation from March of 1999 to November of 2000. The interior was completely redesigned while the building's exterior went unchanged. Despite an increased seating capacity from 7,900 to approximately 10,000, the arena features a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 776 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. They registered an 11-3 home record this season.
Washington completed its 14-game home schedule with an average attendance of 7,770. That is the largest attendance figure at the Huskies' on-campus arena since they drew an average of 7,789 spectators in 1959. Washington averaged 8,374 fans during its nine Pac-10 home games this season.
Saturday's game against Stanford drew a record crowd of 10,086 under the current configuration and was the seventh sellout since Bank of America Arena re-opened for the 2000-01 season after renovations. Five of the sellouts came during second-year Coach Lorenzo Romar's tenure. Thursday's game against California sold out, marking the first back-to-back sellouts at The Pavilion since Jan. 31 (UCLA) and Feb. 4 (Arizona) 1999 when the capacity was 7,900.
Wait 'til Next Year
A pair of Huskies are not competing in games this year, waiting until next season until they are eligible. Jamaal Williams, a 6-5 forward with a powerful inside presence, is red-shirting this season after transferring from New Mexico. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 2003 for the Lobos, including a 25-point, 15-rebound performance at UNLV on Feb. 23. Walk-on Matt Fletcher joined the team in the fall as a transfer from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The Maize (Kansas) High School product played at Butler County Junior College in 2002.
The University of Washington is serving as host to first- and second-round action of the 2004 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Games will be played, Thursday, March 18 and Saturday, March 20 at KeyArena in Seattle. The NCAA announced Feb. 6 that the two rounds at the Seattle site were sold out.