With all due respect to the Marquette Golden Eagles, I truly believe the Washington Huskies will pull the upset and win their first round NCAA Tournament matchup on Thursday. You can call it blind allegiance if you must, but if I were a betting man I’d still side with the Dawgs. It just makes sense. Here’s why:
A bunch of swingmen vs. Matthew Bryan-Amaning
Had you told me a month ago that Matthew Bryan-Amaning would be our biggest X-factor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, I would have cringed. These days, however, he might very well be our greatest weapon.
The 6’9″ power forward from Britain will be counted on to shoulder much of the load inside against Marquette’s diminutive front line. Though the Golden Eagles’ forwards are all at least two inches shorter than MBA, they play bigger than their stature and are more active than some of the big bodies the Huskies faced in Pac-10 play.
Continue reading Why Washington Will Beat Marquette
Stranger things have happened.
Carl Lewis once sang the national anthem.
John Daly had his stomach stapled.
Shakespeare in Love won an Oscar for Best Picture.
So to think that the Washington men’s basketball couldn’t run off nine straight victories and win an NCAA title is not entirely implausible. Just semi-unlikely. But why focus on the negative?
There are hundreds of reasons why the Dawgs can’t win the NCAA Tournament. The odds, the competition, Joe Lunardi, East Coast bias. That’s only four. You can think up dozens more, I’m sure.
But I’d rather tell you why they can. Because it’s Monday. And you need something positive in your life today.
Continue reading Huskies Nine Games From National Championship
Matthew Bryan-Amaning has been dead to me all season long. Seriously. The guy could do no right, and I’m the last person to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But today everything changed. Today, Matthew Bryan-Amaning came back to life and resurrected his dying college career. And for that, we must properly recognize his contributions.
Let’s start, however, by paying homage to his teammates.
From top to bottom, the Husky men’s basketball team was dominant in every aspect this week, handling the Stanford Cardinal and Cal Golden Bears with relative ease along the way.
They hustled, worked hard on both ends of the floor, played selflessly, and capitalized on opportunities presented their way.
Continue reading MBA Live!
Credit Ian Furness with providing the inspiration for this article. The afternoon radio host on 950 KJR wanted to know what the best rivalry in the Northwest was. There are any number of answers to this question, none right, none wrong. But undoubtedly, there are rivalries that are often overlooked. We present those to you in this week’s Top 11.
Because there’s more to life than just Huskies versus Cougars.
11. Ichiro Suzuki vs. The English Language
Like a coy zen master, Ichiro manipulates the English language with the calculated finesse of a rock gardener over his rock garden. Sometimes he speaks it, sometimes he doesn’t. Just depends on the chi of Ichiro at that precise moment.
One thing that remains true is that for eight years now, the Mariners have employed a translator at Ichiro’s behest. The rumor is that the M’s right fielder chooses to utilize his English-speaking mouthpiece so as not to look foolish in the public eye or be misquoted. Okay.
Continue reading Top 11: Unheralded Northwest Rivalries
Big things were expected of Matthew Bryan-Amaning this season. Washington’s sophomore power forward was expected to play key minutes for a Husky ballclub with little frontcourt depth. The 6’9″ low-post presence would utilize his jump hook and leaping ability to produce a heavy dose of scoring on offense, and a 7’4″ wingspan with a knack for blocking shots to disrupt opponents on defense. Instead, the 20-year-old Bryan-Amaning saw his stats remain stagnant and his production regress over the course of the 2008-2009 season. With two years of inconsistency under his belt, MBA is the biggest area of concern for Dawg fans looking ahead to the 2009-2010 campaign.
Where did he go wrong? The soon-to-be upperclassman began the season in ominous fashion, missing the first three games of the year due to injury. Once Bryan-Amaning found the floor, the results were anything but pretty. In his first four games, MBA averaged 3.75 PPG while logging just under 13 minutes of playing time in those contests. Following that miserable stretch, the forward put together his best games of the season, albeit against weaker competition. In back-to-back contests against Texas Southern and Portland State, MBA recorded a combined 41 points and 17 rebounds. Two games later, against Montana, he chipped in 10 points while hauling in a season-high 15 boards, one of only two double-doubles on the year. Over his next seven ballgames, Matthew was up and down. At his highest during that stretch, Bryan-Amaning went for 17 points and six rebounds against Stanford; at his lowest he went scoreless against Washington State in 18 minutes, and notched just four points and collected zero boards in 36 minutes against California.
Continue reading The Curious Case of Matthew Bryan-Amaning