After back to back wins against nationally ranked ASU and Arizona, the Washington Basketball team has yet to crack the Top 25 in national rankings
The Washington Basketball team can sympathize with getting no respect. On a weekend where a school beats two Top 25 teams, would you expect that team to rise into the Top 25? Let’s keep in mind this is the same team that also beat the number 2 team in the country at one point. Is there any question as to whether that team should be deeply embedded in conversation about March Madness? I know I would.
Yet, for some weird reason, this is the first week the Washington Huskies are getting any recognition. Joe Lunardi has the Huskies ranked in his bracketology. Right now, Washington claims a projected 10 seed. And so, that places them into a first round contest with Nevada. Is that seeding a tad low for this team? Maybe a little. That runs counter to the fact that this team has posted a record of three wins to one loss against opponents ranked in the Top 25, that doesn’t sound like a 10 seed to me.
Speaking of the Top 25, who didn’t vote the Washington Basketball team into that group? The Huskies claim the second most votes of teams that weren’t in the poll, and that’s a problem to me. Arizona, again, the ninth-ranked team in the country, didn’t get their first lead against the Huskies until 6:27 to go in the second half. Same thing against Arizona State, the 25th-ranked team. ASU’s first lead came with 7:28 to go in the second half.
In both cases, the Washington Basketball team reclaimed the lead to win the game, convincingly. And with a previous win against then undefeated Kansas, the Huskies have shocked the NCAA in how good they are today. Shocked in that most are in disbelief. And that means nobody believes this team is THAT good.
An Incredible Story
The lack of national attention is a huge problem. People love to hear these stories, and they deserve to know about this team and Mike Hopkins. We know that the Huskies were picked to finish tenth in the Pac-12 in the preseason. Ironically, they’re sitting in third right now. In fact, head coach Mike Hopkins should be an NCAA Coach of the Year candidate. How many recognize how incredible this turn around is for a team that went 9-22 last year?
Not only are the Huskies sitting in third, but they beat both teams sitting above them, Arizona and USC. It is also worth noting that they have a better winning percentage than USC.
Chasing down USC for second place
But, USC has played one extra conference game, which they won. But the Huskies are only a half game back, with a big weekend in Oregon coming up.
Come tournament time, this Husky team will be a force to be reckoned with. They have a great head coach and staff. To go along with that, they have a few spectacular leaders, an excellent defense with a solid bench and supporting cast that fit perfectly into Mike Hopkins’ system . So while this team should definitely be ranked higher, being overlooked on their way into March might just be extra motivation to do even more damage.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Following this article, the question of being overlooked was posed to point guard David Crisp:
His answer embodies the attitude of this team. Stronger together. They play for each other and let the chips fall where they may. Great Response David!