Dawgpack up to Challenge

SEATTLE - On Saturday morning, the ESPN College Gameday crew came to town to host their weekly show from to 8 to 9 a.m. PST. The crew featured Rece Davis, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and legendary head coach Bobby Knight. They are here as part of ESPN's coverage of the UCLA/Washington basketball game, which will tip off at 6 p.m. PST.

On Thursday, Bilas issued a challenge to the Husky faithful to one-up the experience that they had at Rupp Arena last week in Kentucky. The Dawgpack responded to this challenge by camping out both Thursday and Friday night at Bank of America Arena while waiting in line to get inside for Saturday's show. They also wrote on the sidewalks leading into the arena urging fans to be loud and also writing out the UW fight song.

Davis even said it was the best arena that they have gone to this season, and that he even heard the Dawgpack was dancing around three hours before they could even get into the arena Saturday morning.

Once the show began, the Dawgpack, Husky band and cheerleaders, as well as the rest of the Washington fans that woke up early to come, showed the country how diehard and devoted they are to Husky basketball. They brought their 'A' game this morning, filling the entire lower bowl behind the set and about half of the upper sections behind it. The Gameday crew said that they were impressed with what they saw.

"Quality. It's all about quality, not quantity and these kids here I've seen for years and I was here when they upset LSU a few years ago when Spencer Hawes was a freshman and with Jon Brockman and those guys," Phelps said. "It was as good as any that we have had because the quality is more important than the quantity."

Perhaps the highlight chant from the Dawgpack was the 'East Coast Bias' chant that started about halfway through when ESPN was talking about the games on the other side of the country.

Also in attendance during the morning taping were UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar and his assistant coaches, Raphael Chillious and Paul Fortier. After the show ended, Romar walked on the court and met up with Knight, and it looked as if Romar picked his brain for at least a half-hour.

Phelps, who was prodded to wear a Husky tie by the Dawgpack and Harry the Husky before ultimately turning it down, said he was expecting this performance out of the Husky faithful given what he has seen of the program over the years.

"Oh yeah, like I've said, my family - Jaime Moyer and company - live here in the offseason," Phelps said. "He is pitching with the Phillies and he was a Mariners pitcher for about 10 or 11 years. So I know this school. I've been here for football and basketball games. It's one of the great places in the country."

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