The Washington Huskies had a great start to the season and looked to be steamrolling to a Pac-10 regular season championship as late as the final week of January. At 15-4 overall and 7-1 in the conference, the only thing that could stop UW was UW.
Well, that appears to have happen. Since January 30th, the Huskies have gone 5-6 since that time, and 4-6 in the conference. Washington seems to have felt the loss of sophomore guard Abdul Gaddy over the past month, as Isaiah Thomas has logged heavy minutes and his production has sagged off over that period. And now the losses are accumulating at the worst possible time, with Venoy Overton suspended for the Pac-10 tournament due to an alcohol charge and Justin Holiday potentially out for the first game with a concussion.
Their first opponent in the tournament? Washington State, who swept them in the regular season series. Down to potentially seven players, it could get ugly for the Huskies unless they summon a Herculean effort on Thursday night.
But these losses could be felt in their NCAA tournament hopes as well. The NCAA selection committee likes to factor in end-of-season performance, and Washington's medicore February could be their undoing. Joe Lunardi and Chris Dobbertean already have the Huskies lined up as a tenth seed, and they could slide even further with a bad loss on Thursday. At 20 wins, they are probably in, but a bad showing could knock them into one of the four play-in games.