UW Huskies will open Pac-12 Tournament with rematch against Arizona Wildcats

The No.12 Washington Huskies (15-16, 5-13) will take on the No.5 Arizona Wildcats (20-11,10-8) Wednesday afternoon( 2:30 PM) four days after beating the Wildcats 69-63 to close out the Pac-12 regular season. The Huskies finished conference play with a sweep of Arizona State and Arizona to record their only two conference road victories.

Wednesday’s rematch in Las Vegas will provide the Huskies an opportunity to continue their season and fulfill on their dream of winning the Pac-12 Tournament and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Dreams aside the Wildcats will be looking to turn Wednesday rematch into a nightmare for the Huskies.

WILDCATS NOTES

Under head coach Sean Miller, Arizona is 17-7 (.708) at the Pac-12 Tournament. Overall, Arizona is 33-15 in the Pac-10/12 Tournament and has won 7 championships in 11 appearances in the championship game.

Arizona ranks 14th In the latest NET ranking (2nd in Pac-12) and a strength of schedule that ranks SEVENTH. 

Arizona’s Pac-12 All-Conference honorees for this season included Zeke Nnaji (Freshman of the Year, 1st Team, All-Freshman), Nico Mannion (2nd Team, All-Freshman) and Dylan Smith (All-Defensive Honorable Mention).

Nnaji becomes the fifth UA player to be named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year under Miller and is now eligible to have his name put into the Ring of Honor whenever his career at Arizona is complete.

In conference play, Arizona ranks third in scoring (71.1) and second in fewest points allowed per game (65.1)

For the season, Arizona is the only Pac-12 team that ranks in the top three in scoring offense and defense.

UA leads the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers/game (11.8), and it would be the first time in 11 seasons under Sean Miller that the Wildcats led the conference in that category.

Zeke Nnaji went for his 14th double-double of the season (12p, 11r) against Washington to close the regular season, the 27th time in 30 games he has scored in double figures. Nnaji’s 14 double-doubles lead the Pac-12, rank third nationally among all freshmen and are second all-time by a freshman at Arizona (Ayton – 24). A 4-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honoree, Nnaji led the Pac-12 in rebounding in conference play (9.2) and ranks seventh in scoring (16.1). 

Nico Mannion’s 167 assists are the third-most by a freshman at Arizona and ranks second nationally among freshmen this season. He needs 11 assists to tie Mike Bibby for second place on the Arizona freshman assist list. His 5.4 assists per game rank second in the Pac-12 in conference play and his 14.0 points per game are good for 16th in the conference. He has scored in double figures in six straight and has 34 assists in those six games. 

As a starter, graduate transfer Stone Gettings has averaged 8.0p, 5.2r and shot 49.5% the last 15 games. He was named Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year this week.

Redshirt senior Dylan Smith played most of the game against Washington with a broken nose suffered in the first half. He went on to connect on 6-of-10 from long distance and led UA with 19 points in the game.

Josh Green returned to the starting lineup the last two games after missing two games with a back sprain.

HUSKY NOTES

This is the second time since the 2009-10 season that UW will face the same opponent in their regular season finale and first round game at the Pac-12 Tournament …

UW faced Oregon State in back-to-back games during 2009-10 taking wins in both en route to the Pac-10 Tournament Title … then faced USC in back to back games during the 2016-17 season with losses in both meetings

• Washington swept the desert schools for the first time since 2011-12 … it was also the first Pac-12 road sweep since the Dawgs took the Oregon schools last year Jan. 24 and Jan. 26.

• Washington’s back to back wins at Arizona this year and last make it the first time since the 1983-84 seasons that the Dawgs have won two-straight in Tucson

• The Huskies’ 90 points at Arizona State tied a season-high and were its most in Pac-12 play since 94 against Oregon State two seasons ago in overtime on Feb. 17, 2018

• Washington is currently sixth in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense at 38.1

• UW has assisted on 50 percent of its baskets in 19 of their 31 games, and had 19 assists on 30 baskets at ASU

• Over the last nine games, eight off the bench, McDaniels is averaging 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 37.2 from 3 and 82.8 from the FT line

• Freshman Isaiah Stewart was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team

• Freshman Jaden McDaniels earned his first weekly league honor as he was named Freshman of the Week on March 9

Junior Nahziah Carter is now at 852 career points as he has the most points by anyone on the roster … his game against Arizona State was the 100th of his career

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