The Pacific Conference Basketball Tournament gets under tomorrow and regular season Champion Washington Huskies ( 24-7, 15-3) earned a first-round bye meaning their tourney foray will begin Thursday night in Las Vegas. The Huskies ran away with the Conference regular season title and were awarded a bountiful of Pac-12 awards for their efforts.
Head coach Mike Hopkins has repeated as the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Senior Matisse Thybulle earned his second-straight Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award while sophomore Jaylen Nowell was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
It is the first time in the 16 years that the Pac-12 has given out a Defensive Player of the Year award, that a school has won Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Additionally, it is the first time since 2014-15 and 16th time in conference history that the same school has won Coach of the Year and Player of the Year. For Mike Hopkins, the regular season and postseason are two different seasons and all that matters is winning.
A late-season stumble by the Huskies which saw them finish the season with a home loss and split their last four games has left Husky Nation a bit antsy while critics are reassessing just how good the Husky team. The Huskies looked to be a lock for an NCAA tournament birth for the first time since 2011 before the late-season stumble and as a result, it is anyone’s guess what if anything the Huskies have to do in the Pac-12 Tournament to receive an invite to March Madness.