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UW men basketball gears up for first Pac

Back when the Pac 12 was smaller and perhaps more competitive, the blueprint to winning a regular season conference title went something like this: Split on the road and hold serve at home.

To that end, the Washington men basketball team is off to a rousing start in the conference race thanks to a surprising league opening win at Arizona State. Wednesday in the home opener against Utah (12 2, 1 1) at Alaska Airlines Arena.

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A year ago, Utah stunned Washington and handed the Huskies a 74 65 loss in Seattle, which snapped UW four game winning streak and began a four game skid.

Washington is seemingly facing another early crossroad.

The Huskies knew their postseason dreams would be a fantasy if they continued playing the porous defense they exhibited during the nonconference season when they allowed 79.2 points per game and opponents shot 49.6 percent from the field.

Against No. 1 Arizona and Arizona State, Washington surrendered an average of 68 points and held both teams to a combined 40.9 percent shooting

feel like we a lot better team than we were a month ago, freshman point guard Nigel Williams Goss said.

However, the Utes sent a ripple through the Pac 12 when they nearly upset then No.10 Oregon in the conference opener before falling 70 68 in overtime. On Saturday, Utah had no trouble knocking off Oregon State, 80 69.

you follow our conference closely, Utah gave teams fits last year, coach Lorenzo Romar said. is going to guard and they going to be very physical and they going to be tough minded. wholesale jerseys his third second season with the Utes, coach Larry Krystowiak has revamped a roster that went 6 25 during his first season.

a young team so they have some challenges on the road like we all do, Oregon coach Dana Altman said. basketball is a home court sport and you got to take care of business at home. teams were 7 3 at home last week.

Utah was riding a four game road losing streak before last year win at Washington. It was the Utes only road win in the conference last season.

When asked what he remembers from that game, Simmons said: remember they beat us. That all I remember.

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