Washington basketball had to wait to find out if they were going to NCAA tournament after losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament. The #9 seeded Huskies take on #8 Utah State. The game will take place on Friday at 6:50 p.m. EST in Columbus, Ohio.
The last time Washington basketball was in the NCAA tournament was in 2011, when they were the #7 seed in the East region. They beat #10 Georgia 68-65 then lost to #2 North Carolina 86-83.
The Huskies have struggled as of late and are hoping to return to form. Seniors Matisse Thybulle, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row, Noah Dickerson, a Pac-12 honorable mention, along with David Crisp and Dominic Green are looking to go out with a bang.
Nahziah Carter. Like Green, he can make a big difference. He averaged 7.9 points per game while playing 20.4 minutes.
The Utah State Aggies won the title in the Mountain West league. They had a league record of 15-3 with an overall record of 28-6. The Aggies have won their last ten games in a row so they will be a tough customer for the Huskies for sure.
Utah State is averaging 79.2 points a game, however, playing against the Huskies zone defense, and slow down offense don’t expect them to get close to their average even if they win. Utah State is shooting 47.4% from the field with 35.5% behind the arc.
Junior guard Sam Merrill led the Aggies in scoring with an average of 21.2. The Huskies will have to be careful when they guard him (good thing they won’t have to deal with any Pac-12 refs), as he’s shooting 90.7% at the foul line this season.
Freshman center Neemias Queta out of Portugal is the Aggies’ second-leading scorer, and the only other player averaging double digits. He’s averaging 11.9 points and is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.9 per game. It will be important Noah Dickerson keeps him in check and not get into foul trouble himself.
Whatever happens in this game or the NCAA tournament itself, thank you to this team making it an exciting season and putting UW back on the map. We look forward to seeing where the team goes in the future under Mike Hopkins. Go Dawgs!