Grading the 2017-18 Washington Basketball team

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images /
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Fans: B

Montlake had a few quiet years prior to Hopkins. Contending for a Pac-12 title was a total afterthought, and even home rivalry matches lacked the right energy and enthusiasm.

Fast forward to Feb. 3, 2018. 12th ranked Arizona entered Seattle as one of the hottest teams in the country, with national championship and national player of the year hopes very much alive.

The Huskies played out of their minds, hanging with the conference’s elite for a full 40 minutes before providing themselves a shot to win the game in the final seconds. Arizona’s Deandre Ayton rejected a shot out to the perimeter, only for UW’s Dominic Green to sink a prayer from three point range to send Montlake into a frenzy.

Significant moment

Anyone at that game understands its significance. Not for Washington’s tournament resume, or for Pac-12 standings implications, or for the recruiting spotlight. Rather, the Washington fanhood sold out Alaska Airlines Arena and directly impacted a game against a top-20 opponent from start to finish.

That kind of home court advantage, especially on the west coast, is invaluable in college basketball. While the crowd seemed to slow down near the end of conference play, a strong foundation for rebuilding the basketball fanbase was established this past season.