Think about where Washington was last season.
They had more or less the same roster they do today, expect they had the 2017 No. 1 pick — Markelle Fultz — in the mix while being coached by Lorenzo Romar.
That team went 9-22 and was barely competitive in the Pac-12 during the regular season.
But that was last year.
Washington is coached by Mike Hopkins, and things are totally different. The talent that Romar amassed is paying off. After sweeping the Arizona schools this week, Washington is now sitting pretty at 17-6 on the season with a 7-3 mark in Pac-12 play. That’s a helluva way to start off a tenure, especially when you consider that Romar is now an assistant coach with Arizona.
But this week was much more important than simply being a chance for the Huskies to get a win over their former head coach. This was the last time that Washington would play the Arizona schools or the LA schools this season, and that is a big deal because those are essentially the only quality wins in the conference this year.
Washington is now in a great spot to make a run at getting to the NCAA tournament, and I’m not sure they would have had the chance to make that happen had they not won these two games.
Should I mention that the latter came on a buzzer-beater that will go down as one of the best plays of the entire season?:
THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
- MISSOURI: It was a massive week for the Tigers, who shook off a three-game losing streak to land a pair of critical, Quadrant 1 wins: they won at Alabama and followed that up with an impressive home win over Kentucky. The Tigers were already on the right side of the bubble entering the week.
- TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders have now won four straight after losing by 18 points at Iowa State. They capped it off this week with a come-from-behind, overtime win over Texas at home and a dominating win at TCU on Saturday.
- CLEMSON: Despite playing without Donte Grantham, the Tigers have now won three straight games. It started with a mid-week win over North Carolina and they followed that up with a win at Wake Forest. It’s impressive to lose a piece as important as Grantham without missing a beat.
- TENNESSEE: Is there a team that has been hotter in the last two weeks than Tennessee? The Vols have now won three straight games by at least 23 points. They have not allowed more than 63 points in a game since January 10th.
- TEXAS A&M: The Aggies got headed back in the right direction this week, beating both Arkansas and South Carolina at home in impressive fashion. It’s made all the more important for this group considering that they have games at Auburn and against Kentucky at home this week. That could be the difference between the NIT and the NCAA tournament.