It's difficult to get someone like me to imagine the mind-set, but I think this would have been a terrific game for somebody with no skin in the game to watch. The Huskies kept it close almost to the end, tying it at 55 and coming within 2 later (if I remember correctly). Each time it looked as if Washington had a chance to take the lead, however, UCLA put together a little run, eventually winning by 9, 85-76. All the starters in double figures, and Alfred Aboya knocking down a 17-footer at a crucial point late in the game. Wow! I think the fact that it was a physical game where the refs let them play through some ticky-tack contact that in some games might have been called should be good experience, especially in the tournament -- about which I'm feeling significantly more confident after tonight.
Thay'll have a target on them again, and can't afford to lose intensity and focus against Washington State Saturday. They should win, but I hope the losses last week taught them not to take anyone for granted.