Previewing Washington

Standing between the Tar Heels and the Sweet 16 is No. 7 seed Washington, which is coming off of a Pac-10 Tournament title and an opening round win over Georgia. Sunday's tip-off in Charlotte is set for 12:15 p.m. on CBS.

North Carolina (27-7) vs. Washington (24-10)
Charlotte, N.C. -- Time Warner Cable Arena
12:15pm -- CBS (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg)


"He's also another really talented guy. He can score in multiple ways. I think I'll have to make sure I'm there when he catches the ball. Probably even limit him some touches. Do that to the best of my ability. He's still going to get the ball. When he does, contest every shot he shoots. That's all I can pretty much do from there." – Washington forward Justin Holiday on UNC's Harrison Barnes

"They are so good in transition. They not only get the ball up the floor, but they're very organized in their approach. You can be back, you can have all five guys back and still not stop them, because they're not just running, they're running with a purpose. They're very efficient in their transition." -- Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar


Season to Date: Washington enters Sunday's third round contest with a 24-10 (11-7 Pac-10) record. The Huskies have won four straight games in postseason play after losing three of their final five regular season games. Ninth-year head coach Lorenzo Romar's squad lost its first three games against ranked opponents this season before upsetting 16th-ranked Arizona in overtime (77-75) for the Pac-10 Tournament championship on Mar. 12.

NCAA Tournament Results: No. 10 seed Georgia jumped out to an early seven-point lead over No. 7 seed Washington on Friday night, but the Huskies took control with an 11-2 run in the opening minutes of the second half. Washington led 63-53 with 2:03 left to play, but the Bulldogs closed the game on a 12-5 spurt as Travis Leslie missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Revving the Engine: The motor behind Washington's success this season has been junior guard Isaiah Thomas. The Tacoma, Wash., native earned 2011 Pac-10 honors after averaging 16.9 points, 6.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder leads the Pac-10 in assists and ranks fourth in scoring, third in assist-turnover ratio (2.0), eighth in made 3-pointers (1.8) and eighth in steals (1.3).

Stat Breakdown: Washington leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense (83.1), scoring margin (plus-12.8), assists (16.9), assist-turnover ratio (1.39) and 3-point field goals made (8.7), while ranking second in field goal percentage (47.0), 3-point field goal percentage (36.8), rebounding margin (plus-4.3), blocks (5.2) and turnover margin (plus-2.79).

Veteran Experience: Guard Venoy Overton and forwards Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday bring senior leadership in the form of three Pac-10 championships. Overton and Bryan-Amaning will both end their careers in having played more 130 games for the Huskies, moving them into the top five of that school record book category. Bryan-Amaning (15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg) earned the Pac-10's Most Improved Player honor as well as a first-team all-conference selection, while Holiday (10.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg) was tabbed as an honorable mention all-defensive team member. Overton (6.0 ppg, 3.4 apg) sat out of the Pac-10 Tournament for violating team rules, but returned to score six points and grab four rebounds in 21 minutes against Georgia.

Smart Move: With the Huskies losing three of their five games heading into the Pac-10 tournament, Romar replaced Overton in the starting lineup with Terrence Ross. The freshman guard had scored 21 points in Washington's final seven regular season games and only logged four minutes in the last two contests against UCLA and USC. But the move paid off as Ross took advantage of his first starting opportunity to earn a spot on the all-tournament team after averaging 15.3 points per game and knocking down 52.8 percent of his field goal attempts. The magic may have worn off, however, as Ross missed all five shots and only played 10 minutes against Georgia.

Fun Fact of the Day: Washington is now 1-8 all-time in games played in the state of North Carolina. North Carolina is 28-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in N.C., including a 10-0 mark in Charlotte.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated the Huskies, 89-72, in the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec. 29, 1972.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Washington, 1-0.

Projected Starters:
2 Isaiah Thomas (5-9, 185, Jr.) - 16.9 ppg, 6.0 apg
31 Terrence Ross (6-6, 190, Fr.) - 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
22 Justin Holiday (6-6, 185, Sr.) - 10.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg
44 Darnell Gant (6-8, 225, Jr.) - 5.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
11 Matthew Bryan-Amaning (6-9, 240, Sr.) - 15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg

Top Reserves:
23 C.J. Wilcox (6-5, 190, Fr.) - 8.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg 15 Scott Suggs (6-6, 195, Jr.) - 7.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
1 Venoy Overton (6-0, 185, Sr.) - 6.0 ppg, 3.4 apg
5 Aziz N'Diaye (7-0, 260, So.) - 4.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg

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