UW men's basketball in position to punch ticket to Big Dance

UW men's basketball in position to punch ticket to Big Dance

Jaylen Nowell #5 and David Crisp #1 of the Washington Huskies react after scoring against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half of the NCAAB game at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — The Washington Huskies are in a position to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years.

But right now their focus is on playing Washington State for the final time this season on Saturday.

What would a victory in Pullman mean for the Husky seniors?

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"It would be great,” Noah Dickerson, a Huskies forward, said. “I've won there before a couple of times possibly."

Dickerson and the rest of the seniors at University of Washington are looking to steal the show in Pullman like they did last year.

But the Dawgs could have their hands full with Washington State’s Robert Franks at Beasley Coliseum.

"He definitely brings a different kind of look to their team, compared to when we played them the first time,” said Huskies forward Dominic Green, who grew up playing AAU basketball with Franks. “That's something that we're probably going to put in our scouting (report) and game plan (on Saturday)."

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Washington will try getting back into the win column after falling to Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 9.
The Sun Devils snapped the Huskies' 12-game winning streak.

"You go out, you fight and you learn from it,” Mike Hopkins, UW’s head coach, said. “You're never going to be perfect, but you strive to be the best team you can be.”

Dickerson said he is still not at his best right now. He sprained his ankle against UCLA earlier this season, but still managed to finish with 18 points against Arizona State.

"This is probably the first one where my ankle swelled up, and it's stuck with me for a minute,” said Dickerson. “It's pretty bad."

As Dickerson tries making a full recovery, Hopkins is just hoping his seniors can walk out of Pullman with a win.

"It's going to be a lot of fun. It would mean the world (to beat Washington State again),” said Hopkins. "They have got seven games left in their senior year, so everything (is very important to us right now).”