I never put much stock into the notion the media (ESPN) maintains an “East Coast Bias” until I moved to California.
After watching more Pac-10 hoops during the past five months than I had my entire life combined, I came away throughly impressed several Pac-10 teams, led by the Washington Huskies.
Despite a slow start this season, Washington compiled an impressive 25-8 overall record. The Huskies finished 14-4 in Pac-10 play to capture the regular season title.
Washington’s Jon Brockman is one of the most under appreciated players in College Hoops. He is averaging 14.9 ppg but his biggest impact is on the boards, where in averages 11.2 rpg.
Brockman gives the Huskies a solid offensive option inside. F Quincy Pondexter is also a good scorer inside with his ability to get to the basket off the dribble.
Washington is loaded on the perimeter. Freshman sensation Isaiah Thomas (thankfully no relation to ‘Zeke) and senior Justin Dentmon both average more than 15 ppg.
The NCAA tournament is all about matchups, and the Huskies matchup well with potential opponents in the West Region. Purdue is very similar to Washington, but not as deep or talented. UConn is bigger but certainly beatable. Should BYU upset UConn, the Cougars will have confidence but no answer for Brockman inside.
So give the Huskies a long look when filling out your brackets. Washington should have problem advancing to the Sweet 16, and has a chance to go all the way to the Final Four.