SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Washington Huskies represented the Pac-10 well through the first two rounds, but not tonight. Here are some postgame thoughts following West Virginia’s 69-56 win over Washington in the Sweet 16.
The Mountaineers were tougher, they were smarter and they adjusted quicker than Washington.
Washington got crushed on the backboard and could never get into any kind of offensive flow. West Virginia wasn’t much better but worked the offensive backboard efficiently to close out the Huskies.
The Mountaineers were aggressive and got fouled enough to make the difference at the free-throw line.
I thought Washington would be able to score easier on West Virginia. But Washington’s Venoy Overton made some poor decisions on the break that continued to be costly. Not having Quincy Pondexter (three first-half fouls) prevented him from getting on track.
West Virginia started the season as a co-favorite with Villanova in the Big East. The Mountaineers struggled early in the season as it was still figuring itself out, but are now the only Big East team remaining in the NCAA tournament after Butler upset Syracuse. Not sure anyone had that in the preseason.
West Virginia’s length was real trouble for Washington, especially Devin Ebanks on the top of the perimeter. That could cause problems for either Cornell or Kentucky.
Washington’s Justin Holiday was clearly the one player for the Huskies who was active, forcing turnovers and finishing on the break.
West Virginia’s Bob Huggins has had quite a run this season, winning the Mountaineers’ first Big East tournament title and now has the Mountaineers one step away from the Final Four.
Not sure, but has there ever been a Final Four coach that wears a gold windbreaker?