TUCSON, ARIZ. - Washington lost more than a basketball game Saturday.
The Huskies admitted after their 87-86 loss to 12th-ranked Arizona that they also lost any chance at the Pacific-10 Conference regular-season title.
“We have to win every game, and they have to lose every game,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “That’s what’s going to have to happen. So, that’s unlikely. ... But beyond that, we don’t leave Seattle again until the Pac-10 tournament. We’ve got to take advantage of these games.”
The Huskies (18-8 overall, 10-5 Pac-10) won’t have to wait long for their next one, as they return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, meeting Seattle University at KeyArena.
“After you lose a game you always want to play,” senior Matthew Bryan-Amaning said from a McKale Center hallway just minutes after the loss to the Wildcats.
“If I could play right now, I’d play right now just to get a win under my belt. I think it’s better than having to wait an extra two-three days for another game. We’ve got a quick one, and hopefully we get a better one to get this taste out of our mouths.”
After the non-conference game, Washington returns to Pac-10 play next Sunday against Washington State and then concludes with visits from UCLA (March 3) and USC (March 5).
Then, the Huskies will head to the Pac-10 tournament at Staples Center in Los Angeles. There they will seek the certainty of the automatic NCAA tournament bid that comes with winning the conference tournament.
“I think we have to win the Pac-10 tournament again,” senior Justin Holiday said. “Same situation as last year. We don’t know where we are right now (in the eyes of the NCAA tournament selection committee).
“So, we’ve got to go out and win everything again.”
Seven-foot center Aziz N’Diaye’s streak of 20 consecutive starts ended Saturday without direct explanation from Romar or the school.
“Coach’s decision,” Romar said. “Nothing severe, just coach’s decision.”
Multiple reports said that N’Diaye had been a couple of minutes late arriving for the team bus on Saturday.
Darnell Gant took N’Diaye’s place in the starting lineup.
N’Diaye reported into the game after a few minutes, and ultimately played 21 minutes.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports