March 20, 2006
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
Washington, D.C. Region
Verizon Center (20,000)
seeding in (parenthesis)
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 --
#17 Washington (5) vs. #2 Connecticut (1); appr. 6:57 p.m. PST (9:57 EST)
SUNDAY, MARCH 26 --
Winner vs. George Mason (11) or Wichita State (7); TBA
A winner in 10 of its last 11 games, 17th-ranked UW travels to the "other" Washington this week to play the "other" Huskies in the Sweet 16. The top two remaining seeds in the Washington, D.C. Region square off Friday when No. 5 Washington (26-6) and No. 1 Connecticut (29-3) clash, Friday, Mar. 24. The regional semifinal matchup takes place at the Verizon Center (formerly MCI) in the nation's capital. Tip-off is approximately 6:57 p.m. Pacific Time (9:57 ET) as the game is scheduled to start 30 minutes following the clash between No. 11 George Mason and No. 7 Wichita State that tips off at 4:27 p.m. PST (7:27 ET).
Friday's victorious Husky team meets the George Mason/Wichita State winner on Sunday, Mar. 26 for the opportunity to advance to the Final Four at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. Washington's only Final Four appearance came in 1953. In the 53 years since then, UW's furthest advancements were Sweet 16 berths in 1984, 1998, 2005 and now 2006. Washington is ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll while Connecticut is No. 2. UW has a 4-0 record this season against ranked opponents, including Saturday's 67-64 second-round victory over No. 13 Illinois. UConn advanced to the Sweet 16 by virtue of an 87-83 win over No. 8 seed Kentucky. UW defeated Utah State 75-61 in the first round.
Best in Show
Friday's clash of canines won't be the first in NCAA tourney play as these two packs of Huskies produced a memorable Sweet 16 game on Mar. 19, 1998 in Greensboro, N.C. UConn edged UW 75-74 on a last-second putback by Richard Hamilton.
Washington is making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth for only the second time in school history. First-year Husky assistant coach Paul Fortier was a player from 1984-86 during UW's only previous run of three straight NCAA appearances. The Huskies had a 19-12 record in 2004, 29-6 in 2005 and 26-6 this season. The 74 combined wins are the most since a 77-win run from 1951-53 that was UW's best three-year stretch.
Every NCAA Tournament game will be televised live on CBS (KIRO, channel 7 in Seattle). Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery describe the action in Washington, D.C. with sideline reports from Mike Gminski.
Friday's NCAA Tournament game will be broadcast on the Husky Radio Network. Bob Rondeau calls the play-by-play with commentary from Jason Hamilton. Fans can access that broadcast free of charge on the internet at: www.gohuskies.com
UW in the NCAAs
In its 13th appearance, Washington has a 14-13 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play. The Huskies were eliminated in the Sweet 16 for the third time last season. They defeated Montana (88-77) and Pacific (97-79) before suffering a 93-79 third-round loss to Louisville. Washington also lost Sweet 16 contests in 1984 and 1998. The Huskies reached the final eight in 1943, 1948 and 1951 before finishing third in 1953 in its only Final Four berth. In 2004, UW lost 102-100 to UAB in the first round.
UW vs. the Field
The Huskies played seven teams this season from the 65-team NCAA field and defeated all seven of them at least once. The Huskies posted an 8-2 record vs. NCAA qualifiers, including a 2-0 mark vs. No. 2 seed UCLA and 1-0 against No. 3 seed Gonzaga. UW also beat Air Force, Arizona, California, Illinois and Utah State.
Connecticut is the only similarly nicknamed team Washington has played in basketball. The Huskies met twice before with UConn winning both times.
The Huskies are making their 13th foray into the NCAA Tournament, the eighth since the seeding process began. This year's No. 5 seed ties for their second-highest ever and trails only last season's No. 1 seed. UW won a game in consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time ever en route to their first back-to-back Sweet 16 berths.
Hard Luck Huskies
Washington's most memorable postseason setback came in the Sweet 16 of the 1998 tournament in Greensboro, N.C. UW's postseason run was ended by a 75-74 loss to Connecticut on a last-second putback by Richard Hamilton. That was the first of three difficult defeats for UW, which was eliminated in three straight NCAA Tournament appearances by a combined margin of only four points. The Huskies were edged 59-58 by Miami (Ohio) in the 1999 playoffs in New Orleans, a game notable for the 43-point performance of the Redhawks' Wally Szczerbiak. UW lost 102-100 to UAB in the 2004 Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, losing despite posting its first 100-point postseason performance. Fortunes have turned for the Huskies who have since won four of their last five NCAA Tournament games and advanced to back-to-back Sweet 16s for the first time in school history.
The Huskies fell five spots to No. 17 in the most recent (Mar. 13) Associated Press poll. They were 7th in the Dec. 26 poll, their highest ranking in 21 years. The highest ranking ever achieved by a Washington team was a No. 2 listing on Mar. 10, 1953, the same season UW made its only Final Four appearance. The Huskies were unranked in this year's preseason AP poll before breaking into the first regular-season poll at the No. 25 spot on Nov. 21. Washington holds down the No. 17 position in the last ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. After being ranked from wire-to-wire last season, the Huskies were not listed in the preseason rankings. UW capped the 2005 season ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll and No. 9 by ESPN/USA Today.
"Washington's Brandon Roy is an All-American. First team. Period. Roy is the most complete player in college basketball." --Gregg Doyel, CBS SportsLine.com
You would be hard-pressed to make a case that any player does more for his team than Pac-10 Player of the Year Brandon Roy. In the weekly Pac-10 statistics that include all games, Roy is ranked among the league leaders in nine of the 13 categories listed. He ranks among the top Pac-10 players in scoring (2nd-20.2), assist/turnover ratio (2nd-1.76), field goal percent (3rd-51.3%), assists (4th-4.1), 3-point percent (5th-40.0%), free throw percentage (5th-81.4%), steals (9th-1.3), blocked shots (10th-0.8) and total rebounds (11th-5.7). UW's 6-foot-6 guard does all that in less playing time than other marquee players as he is not ranked among league leaders in minutes played.
Pac-10 Player of the Year
Washington senior Brandon Roy was named the recipient of the Pac-10 Player of the Year award on Mar. 6. A product of Seattle's Garfield High School, Roy is just the second player in school history to receive the conference's top honor. He joins Chris Welp who was named the Pac-10 player of the year following his junior season in 1985-86. Roy currently ranks second in the league in scoring at 20.2 points per game. The 6-foot-6 guard helped UW finish the regular season with eight straight wins. Roy sparked that late-season surge and won three consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week awards between Feb. 13-27. That's been done only one other time in the Pac-10 over the course of one season (Arizona State's Eddie House in 2000). Roy posted 20 or more points in 18 games this season, including a UW record of nine consecutive 20-point performances. He has three 30-point performances. Senior teammates Bobby Jones and Jamaal Williams were honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections. Sophomore Ryan Appleby was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year while Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon were selected for the five-man All-Freshman Team.
Did You Know?
Washington was successful in its only previous visit to Washington, D.C., during the 1998 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies defeated Xavier (69-68) and Richmond (81-66) at the MCI Center to earn a Sweet 16 meeting with Connecticut.
Jamaal Williams had a UW NCAA Tournament record five steals against Utah State, breaking the previous record of four set by current Husky assistant coach Paul Fortier on Mar. 23, 1984 vs. Dayton ... The Huskies' 11 steals eclipsed their previous Tournament record of nine on three prior occasions ... Brandon Roy's 28-point performance against Utah State (Mar. 16) was the highest point total by a Husky in the Tournament since Donald Watts tallied 28 against Miami (Ohio) on Mar. 12, 1999. The school NCAA record is 45 points by Bob Houbregs in 1953.
The Connecticut Series
> Connecticut won both previous matchups, including a 69-48 decision on Dec. 1, 1998 at the Great Eight in Chicago. UConn was ranked No. 1 at the time.
> UConn won 75-74 on Mar. 19, 1998 during a Sweet 16 matchup in Greensboro, N.C.
> The teams had two common opponents. UConn defeated both Arizona and Gonzaga while UW beat Gonzaga and split two games with Arizona.
> 20th-year UConn coach Jim Calhoun has a 2-0 record against Washington.
> Fourth-year UW coach Lorenzo Romar has never coached against UConn.
The Last NCAA Tournament Meeting
#6 Connecticut 75, UW 74 (Mar. 19, 1998; Greensboro, N.C.)
Richard Hamilton scored 22 points, including a put-back basket as time expired that lifted sixth-ranked Connecticut to a 75-74 win in an NCAA Tournament East Regional semifinal contest at the Greensboro Coliseum. Washington, playing in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984, concluded the season with a 20-10 record. UConn advanced to the regional finals, losing 75-64 to North Carolina. Donald Watts tallied 22 points for Washington and gave his team a 74-73 lead on a long 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining. UConn took possession and missed two shots inside the final eight seconds. Jake Voskuhl missed a short shot that Hamilton rebounded and shot. That shot missed and the rebound settled into Hamilton's hands. He quickly released a fade-away shot from the middle of the lane for the game-winner. Hamilton scored 18 points in the second half. Khalid El-Amin added 19 points for UConn with led 47-39 at halftime. The lead was 64-55 with 10:16 to play before the UW rallied. Todd MacCulloch registered his Pac-10 leading 15th double-double of the season for the UW, amassing 18 points and 10 rebounds. Deon Luton added 17 points for Washington.
Brandon Roy scored his 1,457th point Saturday to move into the No. 10 spot ahead of Detlef Schrempf (1,449 points from 1982-85) on Washington's career scoring chart. Next up is Doug Smart in the No. 9 position with 1,478 points.
The Huskies have won 10 of their last 11 games since senior Mike Jensen was inserted into the starting lineup Feb. 9 at USC. Jensen was a primary starter the last three years with 99 career starts to his credit. The lineup of Jensen, Bobby Jones, Jon Brockman, Brandon Roy and Justin Dentmon started 10 of those 11 games. The lone exception was Feb. 26 when Brockman yielded his spot to senior Jamaal Williams for the final home game. Jones and Roy have started every game this season. Last year, the Huskies implemented five different lineups and Nate Robinson was the only player to start every game.
This is Lorenzo Romar's 8th NCAA Tournament, four as a UCLA assistant (1993-96), one as the head coach at St. Louis (2000) and three at UW (2004-06) ... Washington has an 18-0 record in games when four or more players register double-figure points ... The Huskies' record is 13-0 when they shoot 50-percent of better from the field ... UW has a 14-1 mark when scoring 80 or more points ... Brandon Roy (132) and Justin Dentmon (121) are the sixth Husky duo to reach the 100-assist mark the same season. Roy was a part of another pairing, distributing 102 assists in 2004 when Will Conroy had 142.
2006 Husky Highlights
Advanced to Sweet 16 for the eighth time, the first time in back-to-back seasons.
Won a game in consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history.
Competed in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the second time ever (1984-86).
Voted the Pac-10 Player of the Year by the coaches, Brandon Roy is only the second Husky to receive that honor, joining Chris Welp (1986).
Swept the regular-season series from Pac-10 champion UCLA for the first time since 1987.
Captured the Black Coaches Association (BCA) championship in Seattle (Nov 13-15).
Justin Dentmon breaks the school's freshman assists records with 121 (Eldridge Recaser had 103 in 1987).
Won four consecutive conference road games for the first time since 1959.
UW's 32-game home winning streak was the nation's longest before ending Dec. 31 vs. Arizona.
Jon Brockman is the second UW freshman to amass over 200 rebounds. He has 211, trailing frosh record holder Mark Pope's 234 in 1992.
Slip Slidin' Away
Washington would have a significantly superior record if it were better at sustaining leads. The Huskies held a double-digit advantage in four of their six setbacks. They led by 13 points at halftime vs. Arizona (Dec. 31), by 13 in the first half vs. Washington State (Jan. 7), by 11 points in the first half at Washington State (Feb. 4) and by 13 points in the first half against Oregon (Mar. 9) in their last outing. UW had a five-point lead at Stanford (Jan. 29), including a three-point margin with 2.1-seconds left in regulation of an overtime loss. The only game that UW never led was at Cal (Jan. 26).
Perfect Non-Conference Slate
Washington has not lost a game this season to an opponent outside the Pac-10 Conference, posting a 13-0 non-conference record. The Huskies completed their 16th undefeated regular-season non-conference record in school history with an 87-71 win over Cornell on Jan. 2. The 11-0 regular-season mark was the school's first perfect non-conference slate since 1980 and the third-most wins ever.
The Huskies have jumped on opponents early, outscoring them by a combined 281 points (1278-997) in the first half. The average halftime advantage is 40-31 for Washington, which built a double-digit lead in 25 games. In the second half, the Huskies are outscoring foes by a significantly smaller 135-point margin (1318-1183). UW has scored 40 more combined points in the second half of games compared to the first half, but has allowed 186 more points after halftime than before. UW trailed just five times at halftime, by 12 at UCLA, 9 at California, 6 vs. Air Force, 3 at Arizona and 2 at Arizona State.
Rebounding has been the key for the Huskies who have a 21-2 record when outrebounding their opponents this season. Washington is outrebounding foes by an average of over seven rebounds (37.4-30.0) in wins while holding a slim one rebound margin (36.8-35.8) in losses. The Huskies lead the Pac-10 in rebound average (37.3) and rebounding margin (+6.2).
Defense is the Difference
Defense has keyed Washington's victories. UW has a 17-0 record when holding its foes under 70 points. The six opponents that defeated the Huskies averaged 80.3 points, nearly 14 more than the 66.4 points the Huskies surrendered in their 26 wins. UW limited foes to 42.6 percent accuracy in wins, a figure that vaults to 46.2 percent in the six losses.
Fast to Fifty
Lorenzo Romar recorded his 50th win at Washington on Feb. 19, 2004, a victory total nine other coaches have reached with the Huskies. He was the fifth-fastest UW coach to 50 wins, reaching that standard in his 83rd game. Romar currently has 84 wins, ranking fifth in all-time UW coaching victories.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
Sophomore sharpshooter Ryan Appleby has 68 of UW's 214 treys (32 percent), 30 more than any other Husky. He has a 3-pointer in all, but six games this season. Appleby hit six treys against Loyola Marymount (Nov. 25) and five at California (Jan. 26) and Oregon State (Feb. 18). Appleby netted 68 of his 82 field goals from beyond the arc. He is tied for No. 3 on UW's single-season 3-pointer list with 68 treys. The Stanwood (Wash.) High School product is in his first year playing with the Huskies. He red-shirted last season after transferring from Florida.
Washington is the Pac-10 leader and ranks No. 6 nationally in team scoring at 81.7 points per game. That is the second-highest current figure among NCAA Tournament teams behind only Duke's 81.9-point average. The Huskies averaged a school-record 86.5 points per game last season, leading the Pac-10 and ranking No. 2 nationally behind North Carolina.
Hot Shooting Huskies
Three players are shooting better than 50 percent for Washington, which is converting field goals at a rate of 47.2 percent that ranks No. 2 in the Pac-10. Freshman Jon Brockman ranks second among all Pac-10 players with a field goal percentage of 51.4. Two other Huskies are listed among the top-5 Pac-10 players: Brandon Roy (51.3%) at No. 3 and Jamaal Williams (49.3%) at No. 6. Forward Artem Wallace (57.7%) does not have enough field goals (three made per game) to qualify for the conference stats. UW's shooting percentage was at-or-above the 50-percent plateau in 13 games. UW returned three of the most accurate shooters in the Pac-10. Roy shot 56.5% in 2005, trailing only Arizona State's Ike Diogu. Williams was No. 3 in the conference (56.1%) and Jones was No. 10 (51.0%).
The Huskies posted the 23rd 20-win season in school history. They have back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1984-1985,and just the second time since 1953.
Washington welcomed new members to the 1,000-point club in consecutive games earlier this season, the 30th and 31st Huskies to accomplish that feat. Senior Bobby Jones scored his 1,000th point Dec. 23 against Lehigh. Another senior, Brandon Roy, amassed a career-high 35 points against Arizona State on Dec. 29 to surpass the 1,000-point plateau. Roy currently ranks 10th among all-time UW scorers with 1,457 points and Jones is No. 20 with 1,217.
Eight players on the Washington roster boasted at least two games of NCAA Tournament experience prior to this season's two games. A trio of seniors have thrived in the Big Dance, each of them shooting over 50 percent. Brandon Roy shot 59 percent (38-of-65) in six combined NCAA Tournament games, averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Bobby Jones shot 55 percent (21-of-38) in six postseason outings, averaging 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. Jamaal Williams has played five NCAA games, averaging 12.8 points on 50-percent shooting (29-of-58).
The Huskies have a 69-16 record in the last 85 games, beginning with their dramatic 103-99 overtime win at Oregon State on Jan. 17, 2004. That was the first Pac-10 win for UW, which lost if first five 2004 conference contests. Washington trailed 70-54 with 6:13 left in regulation before closing with a 29-13 run, including Nate Robinson's 13 points. Robinson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. The Huskies won 14 of their final 18 games in 2004 and posted a 29-6 record in 2005.
Senior forward Jamaal Williams is a 2006 honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick. Williams paid immediate dividends last year in his first season as a Husky. He red-shirted in 2003-04 after transferring from New Mexico. Williams ranked fifth among Huskies with a 9.6-point scoring average last season. He ranked third among all Pac-10 players by converting 56.5 percent of his shots from the field. This season, the 6-foot-6 Williams has 27 double-figure scoring games, including a career-high 26 points against Eastern Washington (Dec. 16). He ranks No. 6 among Pac-10 field goal shooters (49.3%) and No. 14 in scoring (13.3 ppg).
One of the most highly acclaimed recruits in school history lived up to his billing as he was named the MVP of the BCA Classic on Nov. 15. Freshman Jon Brockman (Snohomish, Wash.) registered a double-double against Morgan State (Nov. 13) in his collegiate debut with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Brockman was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. He has four double-doubles, more than any Husky had all of last season. Brockman ranks fourth among Huskies with 8.3 points per game. He leads the team and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with an average of 6.6 rebounds, nearly one more per game than any other Husky. Brockman is the No. 2 field goal shooter in the Pac-10 at 51.4 percent. He has seven double-figure rebound games, surpassing the total of the entire Husky team last season. Brockman was a 2005 McDonald's All-American and the top Best in the West vote-getter who turned down Duke to sign with UW.
To the Point
All-Pac-10 Freshman Team member Justin Dentmon has done a brilliant job filling the point guard vacancy created by the departure of Nate Robinson and school assist-leader Will Conroy. Dentmon ranks eighth among Pac-10 playmakers with 3.78 assists per game, the top mark for a freshman. He has a school freshman record 121 assists, surpassing the mark of 103 established by Eldridge Recasner in 1987. Dentmon's 1.42 assist/turnover ratio (121/85) ranks sixth in the Pac-10. He is No. 4 among Pac-10 free throw shooters (81.4%) and converted 20 consecutive charity shots from Nov. 25 to Dec. 29.
The Huskies won eight straight games, and 10 of the last 11, after Mike Jensen was inserted into the starting lineup Feb. 9 at USC. The 6-foot-8 senior forward started in place of Jamaal Williams. A three-year starter, Jensen returned to action Dec. 23 against Lehigh. He played the last 23 games after missing the season's first nine games while rehabilitating a dislocated left shoulder that required surgery in late September. A superb athlete, Jensen provides the Huskies with a veteran defender and a solid shooter. He made 38 percent of his career 3-pointers (78-204). Jensen hit six treys against Stanford (Feb. 23) in a career-high 18-point performance. He shot 4-of-5 from 3-point range at Arizona State (Mar. 2).
Senior forward Bobby Jones enters his fourth season as a primary starter for the Huskies and of the finest defenders in the Pac-10. He had a double-double against Oregon with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the last game. Jones was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Jan. 16 after leading UW to their first sweep in Los Angeles since 1987. During the summer, Jones played with the 12-man U.S. National Team that won the gold medal in August at the 2005 World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. He hit all three of his 3-point attempts during the 2005 NCAA Tournament, including two in a 19-point, second-round performance against Pacific (Mar. 19). Jones dramatically improved his 3-point shooting last season. He hit a personal-best five treys at California (Mar. 3), equaling the number of 3-pointers he made during his first two seasons combined. Jones was 30-of-59 from 3-point range last year. In his sophomore season, he hit just 1-of-8 treys after making 4-of-20 in 2003. Jones has six career double-doubles, including an 11-point, 12-rebound performance at USC on Jan. 14, 2006.
Prolific in Pac-10
Brandon Roy was spectacular during Pac-10 play, averaging a conference-leading 22.0 points on 51.8-percent shooting. The senior guard hit 25-of-59 treys. Roy posted back-to-back 35-point performances against Arizona State (Dec. 29) and Arizona (Dec. 31), a figure only 16 other Huskies have reached.
Senior Brandon Roy has jumped into the national spotlight, receiving numerous All-America accolades. That was no surprise to those who witnessed his talents in previous seasons. Roy was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick in both 2004 and 2005. He ranked third among Pac-10 players in field goal percentage (56.4%), 18th in scoring (12.7) and 18th in rebounding (5.0) last season. Roy led all scorers with 23 points in UW's 2005 season opener against Seattle Pacific (Nov. 19) and scored 25 points in the win over Utah (Nov. 25) before being sidelined for nine games with an injury. At Houston on Dec. 20, 2004 Roy became the first player in UW history to lead the team in the five major statistics during a single game. Roy amassed 19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. He applied for the 2002 NBA Draft out of high school, but didn't withdrew his application prior to the draft.