Huskies: Do They Deserve NCAA Hoops Berth Or Not?

Washington can take all of the drama out of that question by winning this week’s Pac-10 Tournament. It’s not out of the question. The Huskies enter as the No. 3 seed, opening against Oregon State on Thursday. Three wins and the Huskies are in.

But what if the Huskies stumble? In a year in which the Pac-10 has been perceived as a weakling in the world of college basketball, the Huskies can’t afford to do that. An at-large berth seems possible if they get to the Pac-10 championship game, but it’s no guarantee.

If they get to the title game and lose, Washington will be 24-10, but their resume looks a lot better than it did two weeks ago. After being discarded by a lot of people who follow college basketball, Washington’s at least put itself on the bubble. They deserve consideration. They’re No. 49 in the latest RPI rankings and do have wins over two Top 50 teams (No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 19 Cal) and are 6-5 against the Top 100. And they are playing better. The Huskies performance on the road, however, remains a sticking point. Washington’s best road win was over Washington State (No. 150).

What do you think? Are the Huskies worthy of a spot in the tournament if they don’t win the Pac-10 tourney?

Meanwhile, cozy up to the tube to watch Gonzaga begins its quest for another West Coast Conference championship. The Zags take on Loyola Marymount in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Finals are Monday. Gonzaga, by the way, is No. 35 in the RPI rankings.

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