Huskies, Ducks will meet in NIT quarterfinal matchup
Pac-12 rivals Washington and Oregon clash 6 p.m. Tuesday at Edmundson Pavilion in the rubber match of their bitter Northwest duel.
Seattle Times staff reporter
NIT: Oregon @ UW, 6 p.m., ESPN
The Huskies wanted the Ducks and they got their wish.
Top-seeded Washington received their coveted rematch and will face Oregon in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.
There will be no lack of motivation at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Edmundson Pavilion when the Pac-12 rivals clash in the rubber match of their bitter Northwest duel.
Aside from backyard bragging rights, a trip to New York's Madison Square Garden and a NIT semifinal appearance hang in the balance.
"We owe them something," senior forward Darnell Gant said after Friday's win over Northwestern. "They got us good at their place and no one has forgotten that."
Washington's 82-57 defeat on Feb. 9 at Oregon was its most lopsided loss of the season and one of the reasons the Huskies were left out of the NCAA tournament.
"Obviously they have a little bit of bitter taste in their mouth from us beating them," junior forward E.J. Singler said after Oregon's 108-97 win over Iowa on Sunday. "So I don't blame them for wanting to play us, but we're going to be just as ready as they are."
Much to the dismay of coach Lorenzo Romar, Washington (23-10) began the war of words at Friday's postgame news conference.
When asked if he wanted to play Oregon again, junior co-captain Abdul Gaddy quickly answered "yeah," before Romar playfully elbowed him in the side and interjected: "We'd like to play whoever we're going to play."
Inside the UW locker room, however, the Huskies talked about revenge being a motivating factor Tuesday.
"We're going to come out pumped and ready," freshman guard Tony Wroten Jr. told reporters. "They pretty much embarrassed us last time, in Eugene, so it'll be about revenge."
The tough talk made its way to Oregon and the Ducks (24-9) weren't overly impressed.
"They can say all they want, but we'll be ready," senior guard Garrett Sim said. "We'll be ready to fight them."
The Huskies aren't the only team looking to extract payback. The Ducks still remember their 76-60 defeat at Edmundson Pavilion on Dec. 31.
Coach Dana Altman said Oregon will need to play much better defensively than it did Sunday. The Ducks were brilliant offensively, but they surrendered a season-high 97 points and allowed Iowa to shoot 46.8 percent from the field.
"Tonight our defensive effort wasn't what it needed to be so we're going to have to pick that up a lot," he said. "(Washington is) very efficient offensively, especially at home and we're going to have to try and get them under control a little bit."
"We have a tough challenge ahead of us," Romar said in a statement released by the school. "The last time we played them, they were terrific. We have been watching them ever since and they have been on a roll. They are playing extremely good basketball.
"This is a game where we have a chance to go to New York — we are both fighting for that. It should be a great ballgame."
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or email@example.com. On Twitter @percyallen.