The Washington basketball men’s team has returned to the AP Top 25 for the first time this season.
There has been heavy speculation around the Pac-12 this season. Whether it’s being called a “down year” for the conference or not, Washington basketball has managed to leave its mark on the Conference of Champions.
Washington entered the preseason polls at No. 25 in AP polls and No. 24 in the coaches poll. Following a loss to Auburn on the road, the Huskies disappeared from the rankings and have been vying for a spot since.
Thanks to a sizeable shakeup in the bottom half of the rankings that saw Villanova, Louisville and Iowa State all drop out, Washington has once again found its spot in the Week 17 rankings.
A 13-1 start to the conference schedule helped finally push Coach Mike Hopkins and Washington back into the fray. With the one loss coming to the next best team in conference in Arizona State, it was just a matter of Washington continuing to win games before they broke in.
This isn’t the only national attention the Huskies have garnered. Many believe Senior and last weeks’ Pac-12 Player of the Week Matisse Thybulle to be the best defensive player in the game. Coach Hopkins has not only garnered attention as a possible repeat Pac-12 Coach of the Year, but has been rumored to be in the mix for the national award as well.
This will be a short lived time among the Top 25 following a loss to a previously winless Cal Golden Bears team this week. Regardless, Washington have still secured their spot as regular season conference champions and are the only team in the Pac-12 with a chance at an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament just around the corner.