Washington Huskies’ Ten Best Tournament Wins Of The Romar Era


The Washington Huskies are once again absent from the NCAA Tournament. With a ridiculously talented 2015 recruiting class set to rejuvinate the program, and most of the current roster returning, next year might be the year. In the meantime. here is a great list of good times to reminisce to.

10) Isaiah and the Huskies take down the Dawgs in the NCAA Tournament

9) Will Conroy sparks the beginning of an era

8) 2010 Pac-10 Championship and ensuing impromptu dunk contest

7) Huskies get their revenge on the Cardinal

6) UW runs New Mexico’s Sweet 16 hopes into the ground

5) Huskies overcome Stoudamire’s 37 for their first Pac-10 Title

4) 2006 Second Round Comeback Against Defending National Runner-Ups

2) Cold-Blooded Champions

1) Quincy Pondexter’s winner completes epic NCAA Tournament comeback

3) Huskies Overcome Klay’s 43 For 89-87 Win

Perhaps the best three years for the Washington in-state basketball rivalry were from 2008-10, when Isaiah Thomas starred for the Washington Huskies and Klay Thompson for the Washington State Cougars.

And boy did they star in this game.

The first possesion was an immediate sign of the 39 1/2 minutes to follow. It started with a Thompson miss, followed by a WSU offensive rebound, and completed with a Thompson make from behind the arc.

The Huskies responded with a three-pointer of their own from Terrence Ross to tie the game at three, but had trouble keeping up with the Cougs from there. WSU went on two separate 10-0 runs in the first half, the second of which gave them a 30-17 lead. It was all the Huskies could do to stay within eight points at the break.

For all the people out there who say Lorenzo Romar is all-recruiting-no-coaching, the Huskies jumped all over the Cougs with a full-court press and half-court trap defense coming out of the second half. UW went on a 10-0 run to start the half in just 2:12. However, Washington State would respond with a 14-4 run of their own to take a 54-46 lead.

What happened next you might ask? A 12-5 Husky run to retake the lead at 58-57.

More from Emerald City Swagger

That, however, was the final scoring run of the game, and neither team would lead by more than four the rest of the way.

With 2:42 left to play, and the Dawgs maintaining an 82-79 lead, Thomas and Thompson had one final showdown to keep their final NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

I.T. drove past the entire Cougar defense for an easy lay-up increasing UW the lead to five. 20 seconds later, Thompson nailed a three to bring Wazzu back within two at 84-82.

The Huskies came up empty on their next possession, and Klay was then fouled by Matthew Bryan-Amaning. However, he would split the free throws, making it a 84-83 game. Then, once again, Thomas blew straight by Moore, and finished around the help defense of Brock Motum.

Thompson got one last attempt to tie the game from behind the arc, but was unable to increase his tournament scoring record to 46.

When you hear a broadcaster say that a game came down to a “battle of wills” between two players, usually they’re over-emphasizing those players’ impacts on the game. In this game however, you would be 100% accurate in saying that it was a battle of wills between Isaiah and Klay.

Thompson broke the Pac-10/12 Tournament all-time record with 43 points on 15-29 shooting from the field and 8-14 from three. Isaiah couldn’t match Thompson in the scoring column, however he actually accounted for the exact same amount of points. Isaiah scored 21 points and dished out 11 assists, three of which lead to three-point shots, for a total of 46 points. Klay got his 43 points, but only had one assist on a three-point make by Reggie Moore.

This game was the final time Thomas and Thompson would face off, until the NBA at least. From a raise-your-draft-stock perspective, Thompson had the better game, and he ended up being taken with no. 11 pick in the 2011 draft.

But more than draft status was at stake in this game. Both teams were playing for their post-season lives. UW may have snuck into the tournament as an 11 or 12-seed had they lost this game, but it would have been a nerve-wracking wait for Sunday afternoon. Plus, this never would have happened.

The Cougs would be invited to the NIT as a 2-seed that year, meaning they weren’t far from making the Big Dance themselves had they won this game.

Here is a video of the Washington Huskies highlights, courtesy of qbsacker. Then relieve the rest of the best Huskies Basketball moments below!

Relive the rest of the Washington Huskies’ top ten tournament wins under Coach Romar!

*All of the above photos are from USA Today Sports.

More from Emerald City Swagger