Now Washington must enter their yearly waterloo -- the Arizona Desert, where they have been swept 11 times in their past 13 visits. Since 1989, Washington has won once in Tucson (1996) and once in Tempe (1997).
In Arizona's visit to Seattle in January, senior Jason Gardner scored 16 of his team-high 21 points in the second half as the Wildcats withstood a last-minute Husky charge -- Curtis Allen's attempt at a game-tying trey rimming long in the final 15 seconds after a Grant Leep three-pointer drew the Huskies within two ten seconds earlier. Rick Anderson added 14 points and 11 boards for Arizona. Washington's Doug Wrenn led all scorers with 25, at the time his third-straight 20-point outing.
"There's no question (Washington) played well enough to win last time," Arizona coach Lute Olson says of Washington. "They had a couple of guys miss front ends of one-and-ones that could have made a big difference late. They hurt us some in transition. They just haven't been able to close people out."
"Hopefully, we'll be able to use the great home-court advantage that we have."
Arizona has come back from a pair of 20-point second-half deficits at home this season.
WASHINGTON CL HT PTS REB Doug Wrenn SO 6-8 19.2 6.1 Grant Leep SR 6-7 7.8 4.2 David Dixon SR 6-11 7.8 8.0 Curtis Allen SO 6-0 12.8 4.7* Erroll Knight FR 6-7 7.0 2.9 ARIZONA CL HT PTS REB Luke Walton JR 6-8 14.6 7.9 Rick Anderson JR 6-9 12.9 6.5 Channing Frye FR 6-10 10.4 6.7 Salim Stoudamire FR 6-1 12.1 1.9 Jason Gardner JR 5-10 21.0 4.7* (* = Assists)