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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies. E-mail Bob.

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October 18, 2005

Baiting Bulldogs

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:04 AM

One reader, Sean, asked what is always a fun question to ponder: What will be Washington’s biggest game of the season?

In the non-conference portion of the season, that’s an easy call - the Dec. 4 home game against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have beaten the Huskies seven straight times - every year since the 1997-98 season when Dan Dickau was playing for the Huskies.

That is a most annoying fact to the Huskies, especially the veteran players who remember the bitter loss of last season, when Gonzaga beat Washington in Spokane a few days after UW had won the Great Alaska Shootout. For seniors like Brandon Roy and Bobby Jones it will, obviously, be the last chance to beat Gonzaga.

For the conference season, picking just one big game is tricky. All the games against UCLA, Arizona and Stanford will be particularly heated, and the Northwest rival games against Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State should all be very competitive, since each should be better this year than last season.

But if forced to choose, I’ll pick two - a Dec. 31 visit by Arizona and a Feb. 11 trip to UCLA.

The Dec. 31 game is UW’s second Pac-10 game of the season and comes between conference home games against Arizona State and Washington State.

If the Huskies can beat Arizona, odds are pretty good they will get off to a 3-0 conference start, important for a young team that is certain to have a few off-nights here and there.

The Feb. 11 game at UCLA is a chance for the Huskies to overcome one of their biggest demons - winning at Pauley Pavilion. The Huskies haven’t won there since the 1986-87 season, losing last year after building an early 21-point lead.