I am a classic ugly fan who loves-to-hate a regional rival. I can barely even say husky, without wanting to turn and spit and have even written about my irrational hatred of the University of Washington. A great day is beating them at any sport by as big a score as you can, and yesterday our beloved Ducks came through with a 83-77 win over an inspired groups of ‘Dogs at the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament.
I do have to give the guys wearing black (Didn’t they ridicule us when we began doing that?) some credit as Washington has some very talented players who wanted make the NCAA tourney badly and were highly motivated. What I liked is yet another demonstration of what makes this Duck basketball team unique among other squads in the past and among the conference brethren.
This group is mentally tough – squared.
Down by 12 in the first half (with our star player Dillon Brooks in foul trouble) did not phase this group who have such an unshakable belief in Dana Altman, the system they play in and in themselves. They made big stops on defense and used it to fuel fast break points to climb back to a one-point edge at halftime.
The second half was a scrap between two gritty teams who played even until the Ducks used that mental toughness to break a tie at 77-77, make the big plays to finish the game and cast the disgusting ‘Dogs aside. (It was great to see Kendall Small come in to contribute in a big way as well as to have Chris Boucher emerge again with three pointers and some huge blocks – as you will see in the video highlights from the Pac-12, below.
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove