With a lack of quality wins on their non-conference resume and a loss to Stanford most recently, perhaps Cal fans have reason to doubt the assumed Pac-10 superiority of the Washington Huskies.
Roll On: Scouting The Washington Huskies - California Golden Blogs
UW’s unconvincing non-conference performances and recent loss to Stanford reignite the possibility that Washington isn’t such an overwhelming favorite for the title, Kenpom statistical breakdowns notwithstanding. For one, UW really doesn’t like playing teams with actual, legitimate defenses. The Huskies haven’t failed to reach 70 points in every win so far this year, but in their losses they’ve only averaged 64 points. So far, Michigan St., Kentucky, Texas A&M, USC and Stanford all successfully slowed down UW’s crazy fast offense. Four of those five games ended in defeat, and the fifth went into overtime. Cal’s defense is in the ballpark of those teams, so I'm willing to entertain the chance of an upset tonight.
And yes, it might be difficult to simply dismiss Thursday's loss to Stanford as a fluke within the context of this season as noted on SBN's California Golden Blogs. But at the same time, let's not get carried away - what is often lost within the frenzied second half runs that UW has used to win games is that they usually start with UW defense, despite the offensive display showing up more clearly in the numbers and catching the eyes of observers.
That said, beating Cal today and splitting on the road is no less important than it would be for any average team with conference championship aspirations.
UW Dawg Pound - For Washington Huskies Fans
The key to winning a Pac 10 title in basketball is to sweep at home and at least split on the road. This is a crucial road game for Washington. The Bears are dangerous and are coming off an impressive win over WSU on Thursday. Washington needs a win tonight to wipe the taste of the debacle at Stanford out of their mouths.