I've gotta say that, right now, the crowd is great. Very loud and they have brought out some very creative signs.
They list Nate Robinson at 5-9, but there is no way that the guy is an inch over 5-7. Being 5-6 myself, he is my favorite non-Wildcat.
19:40 in the first
Tre Simmons starts UW off with a three-pointer. The good news is that the crowd stays loud.
19:18 in the first
Two possessions, two turnovers for the Wildcats. Ball are bouncing off guys and right into the hands of the Huskies. This is not a great sign.
18:38 in the first
Three possessions, three turnovers. The Cats so want to establish the inside that they are forcing things and giving UW the ball. They must settle down and play more careful. The ideas are good, the execution is terrible.
18:30 in the first
Shakur commits and unforced error. He was trying to break the press but he just lost the handle and the ball skirted out of bounds.
BTW former World Heavy Weight Champion Ivan Drago is playing center for Washington. No, wait, that's Mike Jensen. My bad.
18:20 in the first
Adams is called for traveling. That's five possessions and five turnovers for the Wildcats. Luckily it is only 4-0 in favor of UW. If the Huskies did not have two travels of their own, this one could be ugly.
18:07 in the first
Shakur breaks the press and draws the foul on the lay-up attempt. He was speeding so fast down the court that he almost lost the handle again.
17:07 in the first
Cats are in the 1-3-1. Last year UW picked it apart from behind the arc. So far they are 1-2 from three against it.
16:14 in the first
Shakur was having early trouble against the press. Now he is thriving in it. His ability to break, and plain out run the press has led to six straight points.
15:36 in the first
UW is called for their third travel.
14:40 in the first
It almost looks like the ball is covered in butter or something. Players on both teams are having trouble with their handle. Maybe one of the ball boys used Crisco as hand soap before the game.
13:10 in the first
Lute brings in four new players. Almost a full line change. Included is Daniel Dillon playing the point. I expect UW to press the hell out of Dillon and this line-up. The only starter left in is Ivan Radenovic.
12:14 in the first
Dillon is called for a travel. It is the fifth travel call of the game. The NBA doesn't have that many travel calls in a month.
9:42 in the first
Lute almost jumped out of his suit. Drago, er Jensen mauled Adams on an over the back and the refs were very slow to make the call. Olson was about a foot off the court when the call was made. We all knew Lute was in good shape, but he apparently has a nice vertical.
9:10 in the first
Travel number four for UW, number six for the game.
8:59 in the first
Ivan Drago, I mean Mike Jensen picks up his second foul.
I must have magic powers. As soon as I ask "why is Mustafa Shakur not in the game?", Lute puts him in. "Why do I not have a pizza?"
Nope, didn't work.
6:39 in the first
Nate can flat out get up. He just jumped higher than two taller Wildcats for a sweet putback.
5:51 in the first
A huge sequence. Shakur misses a tough, but makeable lay-up. The Huskies get the rebound and race down the floor for a bucket and the foul. It's a five-point swing.
3:43 in the first
The Cats can't shoot and UW is picking apart the 1-3-1. After their seventh three of the half, they lead 40-30. The Cats have just eight FG's. I hate to question Olson, but I don't get the 1-3-1. I know they want to limit dribble penetration, but what good does it do when the opponent is killing you from the outside?
3:17 in the first
Travel #7. Rodgers blows a 3-on-1 by being indecisive. He couldn't decide whether to pass or shoot and wound up doing neither.
2:00 in the first
Travel #4 for the UA. Make that eight total. The 1987 NBA season didn't have this many travel calls all season long.
0:00 in the first
Now I know why Olson went with the 1-3-1. The Cats went man-to-man for the last three possessions and the Huskies scored on all three trips.
18:34 in the second
After two straight UA buckets Washington calls timeout. Salim cups his ear and does a half lap, urging on the crowd to cheer even more.
17:58 in the second
Arizona forces a shot-clock violation due to good play from the defense. The 1-3-1 is starting to click. The Huskies have not had an open look in awhile. The Cats can tie or take the lead for the first time since the 11:40 mark of the first half.
17:39 in the second
Frye misses a lay-up. It was his first FG attempt OF THE GAME. UW has completely taken him out of this game.
16:59 in the second
Shakur nails a three. The Cats take the lead. Now they need a stop.
15:59 in the second
The Cats actually get two stops, but blow a lay-up and a fastbreak opportunity.
15:37 in the second
The Cats have been sparked by great defense. I don't know what adjustments they made to the 1-3-1, but they have forced four turnovers and have outscored the Huskies 13-3 to open the half. They just need to keep up this defensive intensity.
13:37 in the second
Just a huge sequence for J-Mac. First he makes an out of nowhere block on a Joel Smith shot and then drains the three on the other end to put the Cats up 60-58.
11:42 in the second
The Ooh-Ahh man is in the house, so you know it is a big game. The guy does not move like he used too and his shirt is so old that the sporting goods store it advertises has been closed for nearly 20 years. The crowd responds. In fact, it is one of the best McKale crowds in a long, long time.
9:14 in the second
Frye throws down a big dunk. It is his first FG of the game.
7:01 in the second
The Cats could be in trouble. Salim rushes the shot and then fouls a Husky in frustration. It is his fourth foul. To make matters worse, Will Conroy nails a three for UW after the foul.
5:16 in the second
Frye drains two straight 15-footers. He is better from over 15 than he is at lay-ups. I guess he should just back it out every time and go for the jumper.
4:17 in the second
Every time the Cats build a lead, UW answers with a three. This time it was Bobby Jones from the corner.
2:52 in the second
The good news about the 1-3-1 is that the Cats are forcing UW to make a ton of passes to find the open man. Even if they get a good look at three, they are using 25-30 second of the shot clock trying to find the open man. They need quicker shots to come back, but the Cats are not giving them any good looks early in the possession.
44.1 in the second
PLAY OF THE GAME, and maybe the year. Salim attempts an impossible leaner and not only does he make the basket, but he draws the foul. The only problem is that he lands really hard, but appears to be okay.
33.8 in the second
The band starts a "just like football" chant. The Cats miss their first free throw of the half and only their second of the game.
21.5 in the second
Some fans start an "overrated" chant. It is one of my least favorite chants. I mean, UW not only proved their worth, but gave the Cats all they could handle. Add to that, if UW really is overrated, then it means the Cats' win is not as impressive as it seems. Just a dumb chant for a tight contest by two ranked teams.
E-mail Brad at email@example.com