Halftime: Washington 29, West Virginia 27

SYRACUSE, N.Y. –- Let’s hope for a more fundamentally sound second half from the Washington Huskies-West Virginia Mountaineers game. He are some quick thoughts:

Very sloppy. That’s my first thought.

• West Virginia tried in vain a number of times to get passes into the post. Throughout the whole first half the Mountaineers got the ball picked. They turned the ball over 13 times and that allowed the Huskies a few run outs.

• Washington had its share of miscues as well, turning the ball over 11 times.

• There was no real flow to the first half. Washington wanted to run but didn’t execute as much.

• If Justin Holiday didn’t make perimeter shots –- he was 2-of-2 on 3-pointers and 4-of-8 overall -– then the Huskies would be in serious trouble.

Quincy Pondexter was a non-factor for Washington with three first-half fouls. He was out of the game early and played only seven minutes because of the foul trouble. He didn’t score.

Isaiah Thomas could get into the lane but didn’t always finish.

• If West Virginia’s Deniz Kilicli could convert layups the Mountaineers would be leading, not trailing by two. He missed three layups. He was 3-of-6.

• West Virginia coach Bob Huggins started Casey Mitchell instead of Joe Mazzulla in place of the injured Darryl Bryant. Mitchell and Mazzulla combined for six points.

• Washington NBA players Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes and Jon Brockman were in the stands.

• The crowd was poor for a Sweet 16 game in large part because Syracuse is playing at the same time. The NCAA made a mistake by scheduling the Orange opposite this site. A number of local fans said they would stay home and watch the Orange rather than go to the Carrier Dome. There are a fair number of Cornell fans here. Still hard to tell how many Kentucky fans will be here but the crowd looks decent for a road game for the Nation.

• It’s dreary outside. Raining a lot, cold and that’s another reason Syracuse fans would probably stay home.