Utah and Washington, which will meet in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, enter the postseason under much different circumstances.
The seventh-seeded Utes (11-12, 8-11 Pac-12) are coming off a 98-59 victory against visiting Arizona State on Saturday, as Alfonso Plummer and Mikael Jantunen shared game-high honors with 15 points apiece for Utah. Timmy Allen added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and likely would've been in line for a triple-double had he played more than 25 minutes in the blowout.
"It is going to help us to keep grinding," Plummer said of the victory. "We know that when we move the ball, we are a really good team, and we are tough to beat. I feel like this game taught us that if we move the ball, and everybody gets touches, we can be really dangerous in the playoffs."
The 10th-seeded Huskies (5-20, 4-16) have been idle since concluding their regular season with a heartbreaking 75-74 loss at Arizona on Feb. 27. That game came just two days after an 80-72 loss at Arizona State in which the score was tied in the final minute.
"We just keep going," Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said. "DMGB -- doesn't matter, get better. That's kind of our focus every day.
"Obviously, the rest will help ... the time off will be good to heal some wounds, get in the video room and have some really good practices. We've proven to play well against some of the top teams in the league. Hopefully we can go down (to Las Vegas) one game at a time and play our best basketball of the year."
The teams split their two meetings during the regular season, with Utah winning 76-62 in its coronavirus-delayed season opener Dec. 3 in Salt Lake City and Washington taking an 83-79 decision Jan. 24 in Seattle as Jamal Bey scored a career-high 28 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field.
"I don't think there are going to be any surprises as far as what they do," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said of the Huskies. "They are a unique zone team (with) a lot of length and present a lot of different challenges for you. They have got good size and good senior leadership in their backcourt. Those are things that are always valuable this time of year."
The Utah-Washington winner will face second-seeded USC in the Pac-12 quarterfinals Thursday.
--Field Level Media