Washington Teams Advance
The University of Washington Husky women set a state trend in the NCAA tournament yesterday with a nailbiting 73-69 win over the favored Minnesota Golden Gophers in the morning games. The Huskies made a last minute comeback to erase a small deficit and take the lead into the closing seconds on a Kristin O'Neil three pointer. Their hard work moves them on to round two of the tournament where they have to face the likely #1 WNBA draft pick Seimone Augustus and her LSU Tigers.
The Husky men followed suit with 67-64 win over Illinois a few hours later. Lorenzo Romar's team burst out of the gate firing and playing lock-down defense against the Illinois Illini. Their defense faltered near the end of the first half and the Huskies were barely able to sustain a 35-32 lead going into the half. They fell behind early in the second half but rallied in the closing minutes with the same lock-down defense and some clutch shooting to make the Sweet Sixteen where they will face the winner of Sunday's of the Connecticut/Kentucky match-up.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs closed out the evening with a 90-80 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. The Bulldogs survived an off night by college basketball's leading scorer Adam Morrison who was held to 5-17 shooting scoring only half his season average of 28+, a mere 14 points. Surprise play from Sean Mallon (15 points, 10 rebounds), JP Batista (20 points, 9 rebounds) and Erroll Knight (11 points) made up for Morrison's missing baskets, however. Gonzaga dominated the free throw line making 26 more free throws (32-41) than Indiana attempted (4-6). This enabled them to overcome a blistering 16-36 three point shooting barrage by the Hoosiers which kept the game interesting until the final moments. The Bulldogs take on UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday evening. This is the Zags first return to the Sweet Sixteen since their breakout Cinderella seasons from 1999-2001.