I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but Washington losing to California was predictable. Cal played the Huskies tough in their first meeting at Hec Ed, only fading in the second half. The Bears are athletic and on a given night could do what they did to the Huskies.

More to the point, the Huskies are not the greatest team around. They have managed to wrap up the Pac-12 regular season championship because the conference is one weak sister. Until this week when the Huskies rose to 25th in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls, no conference team had been listed among the nationals top 25 for most of the season. There is a reason for that: the Conference is not very good.

Washington has serious flaws – I would not be surprised if Stanford beats them Sunday – anyone can quickly see. The Huskies have no serious inside game, are not good outsider shooters and can’t rebound a lick.

They have won with an experience senior-dominated lineup led by maybe the best defensive player in the nation in Matisse Thybulle. Matisse, who is six-foot-five, plays out front in the Huskies 2-3 zone and is simply amazing. His quick reflexes, his overall quickness and his long wing span enables him to terrorize opposing plays with blocks, steals and general disruptive shenanigans that lead to the one good thing the Huskies do extremely well, get out in a transition game for easy buckets.

In my mind, Thybulle is an easy NBA draft pick in the early rounds. He is getting better as a shooter, but that will continue to get better once he gets in the league, as he certainly will.

As demoralizing as the loss to the lowly Cal Bears is, the Huskies won the Pac-12 title when Oregon State and Arizona State both loss. So the 13-2, 22-6 Huskies can call themselves champions despite the ugly loss. In the bigger picture, the loss, along with Oregon State and Arizona State defeats, clouded things for the conference when it comes to March Madness. The champion of the conference tournament that is set for March 13-16 in Las Vegas gains an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and there is a good chance that will be the only conference team to get in.

Unless the Huskies fall completely apart – they play Oregon and Oregon State at home next week to close out the regular season – I suspect they might get a play-in game to the tournament. They are not a great team for the obvious reasons stated above and a win over Stanford and a split with the Oregon schools might be enough to get that regardless of how they do in the conference tournament.

No matter what happens, the Huskies have had a very good season in coach Mike Hopkins second season.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.