When Is Washington Football Team Getting A New Name College Basketball – Get Ready for a Phenomenal March Madness Run This Year

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College Basketball – Get Ready for a Phenomenal March Madness Run This Year

They won’t pay Washington coach Lorenzo Romar big because he’s an idiot. Romar made another smart decision on Friday (2-8-08) – he took the blame for his team’s 4-game losing streak.

Romar praised his players all season for their willingness to do whatever he asked. Now he’s taking the blame because what he asked them to do didn’t work.

He was rewarded two days later when his Huskies played their best game of the year, upsetting No. 5 UCLA 71-61 at home in front of a sellout crowd at Heck Edmundson Pavilion.

Romar, tired of losing, pulled guard Venoy Overton just 57 seconds after the opening kickoff. Overton, a true freshman with outstanding potential, opened the game with a turnover but then didn’t rush the defense. Junior guard Justin Dentmon stepped in and responded with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the bench and the Huskies were off and running.

John Brockman had a game-high 17 rebounds (including his 800th career rebound) and added 12 points for his Pac-10-leading 16th double-double of the season. Ryan “Dead Eye” Appleby added another dozen points and sank his 200th career 3-pointer, 12 shy of the U-Dub record.

Washington even played some defense, as Artem Wallace held UCLA freshman center Kevin Love to 13 points and true freshman Justin Holiday put the D on Bruins running back Josh Shipp.

Even UCLA coach Ben Howland was impressed. “They were more physical,” Howland said. “They hit 8 of us. Brockman only had 9 offensive rebounds.”

The Huskies, now 13-11 overall and 4-7 in the Pac-10 Conference, must play 5 of their remaining 7 games on the road. Washington will probably still be watching the NCAA and NIT playoffs on TV, but they showed Sunday just how much parity they have in the Pac-10 and nationally with an 82 ranking by Sagarin and a rise to No. 5- and UCLA. .

Despite their poor record, Washington climbed to No. 74 in Sagarin’s rankings by defeating such a high-ranked team. Sagarin’s ratings change daily during the basketball season because, unlike football, games are played during the week as well as on weekends.

As of Sunday (2-10-08), No. 2 Memphis remains the only undefeated team in the nation (23-0) among 341 Division 1 teams. Only 3 teams left with one loss-No. 1 Duke (21-1), No. 3 Kansas (22-1) and No. 13 Drake (20-1).

Yes, 3 more teams left with only 2 losses-No. 4 North Carolina (22-2), No. 6 Tennessee (20-2) and No. 25 Butler (21-2).

Another interesting fact worth noting: Three of those top 7 teams with a record have low strength of schedule – Memphis (124th all-time), Drake (105th) and Butler (88th). They won’t go deep into the NCAA tournament until they start playing tougher teams.

Compare their strength of schedule with Duke (21st toughest), Kansas (60th), North Carolina (18th) and Tennessee (10th).

To illustrate how competitive the Pac-10 is this year, the Washington Huskies, who are 4-7 in ninth place in the Pac-10, are ranked 25th in Sagarin’s rankings. And you have to ask, how can Washington upset such a good team like UCLA? Be thankful your team is not playing in the Pac-10 Conference this year.

All of this bodes well for the networks showing the March Bowl and for any team playing in the NCAA Tournament. Because upsets happen even when there’s little parity between teams, we’ll see some shocks when parity is high this year.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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