West Virginia plays the University of Washington Thursday night. It wasn't a shock to see WVU in the sweet sixteen, but I have to admit that I didn't expect to see Washington in this spot. Mainly because of the "Pac-10 Sucks" memo that's been going around this year.
Washington clearly didn't get that memo, going 26-9 and winning the last nine in a row (RPI: 41, SOS: 60). If you go to the Lexy website to hear the Huggins audio tweet, he seems very impressed with their speed and obviously concerned with their fastbreak.
If you're going to beat a fast team in football, you just have the local fire department come by a couple hours before the game and take care of business. While that might level the playing field in basketball as well, it just isn't practical. The simple answer is for West Virginia to do what it's done all year long, control the rebounds and play solid defense.
You have to ask what does solid defense look like against a fastbreaking team? It really depends on how many people you have around the basket on offense. Because you need to keep at least two men above the circle to prevent the fastbreak on a miss. If you can force a fastbreak team to play half court offense you should win. But West Virginia relies heavily on offensive rebounds to score, and that's the rub. It should be a good indicator as to what approach West Virginia will take in dealing with the fastbreak.
I don't believe in long posts, and this one is probably a little long winded for me actually. I like to do other things. There is certainly a lot more to this game than what I've covered above. That's where you come in. Leave your thoughts in the comments. Also, check out the Dog Pound for a Huskies point of view.