Washington will pose a serious “round of 32” threat to North Carolina Sunday when the two teams square off at 12:15 p.m. And one Georgia player came just short of predicting a Huskie victory early Saturday morning.
Georgia’s Trey Thompkins, who had 26 points in Washington’s 68-65 win over the Bulldogs Friday night, was asked after the game how far he expected Washington to go in the tournament.
“I feel this Washington team will go deep into the tournament,” Thompkins said. And although he didn’t explain that by further, I wouldn’t think one victory would be considered “deep” by anyone.
Washington, a No.7 seed, has far more NCAA tournament experience than the current crop of Tar Heel players. The Huskies made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010 before losing to West Virginia.
They have a 5-9 junior guard in Isaiah Thomas (no relation to the original Isaiah Thomas) who makes them go, and a couple of seniors in the post (6-9 Matthew Bryan-Amaning and 6-6 Justin Holiday) who are very respectable players.
Said Georgia coach Mark Fox, who is a longtime friend of Roy Williams, shortly after his team had lost to the Huskies Friday night in Charlotte: “Washington scores it from so many places…. It should be a heckuva ballgame.”
For the second game in a row, the Tar Heels have also found a team that wants to run with them. Long Island was the nation’s No.4 scoring team (UNC beat the Blackbirds, 102-87 Friday night).
Washington? It’s the nation’s No.3 scoring team, averaging 83.5 points per game.
The Huskies won the Pac-10 tournament this season (but finished only third in the Pac-10 regular season).
In the game vs. Georgia Friday, Washington was slowed considerably by the Bulldogs’ insistence on playing at a leisurely tempo. But the Huskies had a nice run early in the second half and held a lead of around 10 points most of the way until Georgia made a furious comeback at the end. A missed Bulldogs’ three-pointer from about 25 feet was all that kept the game from going into overtime.
One other note: attendance for the night session at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena was announced at 16,852, which is a couple of thousand people short of a sellout. That's something, isn't it? Duke and North Carolina can't sell out in Charlotte?!