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Tournament Coverage
Sweet 16 games

Thursday, 3/23
Duke - LSU
Memphis - Bradley
Texas - W. Virginia
UCLA - Gonzaga

Friday, 3/24
Boston College - Villanova
George Mason - Wichita St.
Florida - Georgetown
Connecticut - Washington

Elite 8 games

Saturday, 3/25

Sunday, 3/26
George Mason-Connecticut

Final 4 games

Saturday, 4/1
Florida-George Mason

by Rick Gagliano | 3/24/06

Preview: (5) Washington (26-6) vs. (1) Connecticut (29-3)
Washington, D. C. Regional Semi-final, 9:55 p.m. ET
Favorite: Connecticut -6

The Connecticut Huskies were heavily favored in each of their first two tournament games, but struggled against relatively inferior opposition as they sailed past Albany late, 72-59, and failed to put away an overmatched Kentucky team, finally pulling out an 87-83 win.

They may not be afforded the luxury of sloppy and spotty play against the PAC-10's Washington Huskies, who have mostly flown under the radar as a #5 seed, beating Utah State easily (75-61) in the first round before coming out on top, 67-64, over a determined Illinois squad.

Washington can boast three Top 25 wins, having beaten Gonzaga once and UCLA twice during the regular season, plus their win over then-11th-ranked Illinois.

The Washington Huskies are led by Brandon Roy, one of the best point guards in the country, who averages 20 points per game and boasts a nearly 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Starting forwards Jamaal Williams and Bobby Jones both average in double figures, but these Huskies have some depth with six other players averaging between 3 and 9 points per game.

Connecticut won't suffer from a lack of top-notch competition. During the regular season, they recorded wins against 7 different ranked opponents, including Villanova, Arizona, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh, Indiana and West Virginia. They also beat LSU, which was then-unranked, 67-66, in early January. Their three losses were to Marquette, Villanova and Syracuse.

They are long and talented, with their top six scorers averaging more than 9 points per game. Rudy Gay leads the way with a 15.2 average, but Washington will likely have trouble with the interior games of Josh Boone and center Hilton Armstrong.

If anything, Connecticut might be accused of taking opponents too lightly and not focusing for a full 40 minutes. While their on-court talent is unquestionable, putting together a complete game - physically and mentally - will be essential if they intend to go deeper through the tourney field.

Half time update: Washington 45 Connecticut 40

In a game which was widely expected to be one of the higher scoring contests of the tourney, both teams came out of the gate sprinting, with UConn grabbing the early advantage, 17-14 in the first 5 1/2 minutes.

Washington relished the up-tempo and built a 10-point lead with 6 minutes remaining. Washington's defense frustrated UConn into 13 turnovers.

Despite UConn's reputation for blocking shots, the Washington players, especially Brandon Roy and Jamaal Williams, who led the way with 11 and 10 points.

Marcus Williams was effective outside for UConn with 11 points. His running mate, Josh Boone preformed well on the interior with 10 points.

Recap: Connecticut 98 Washington 92

Connecticut played its' usual sloppy game - turning the ball over 26 times - but held together in the waning moments of regulation. Finally tying the game with under 2 seconds left on a three-pointer by Rashad Anderson, they won it in overtime, converting six straight free throws to end the extra session. While five different Washington players fouled out of the game, UConn helped themselves by converting 34-47 free throws and 10-19 three-pointers. Williams led all scorers with 26, followed by Anderson's 19. The Huskies advanced to the regional finals against George Mason on Sunday.