published Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Bulldogs draw Huskies in NCAA opener

SEATTLE — Washington will face Georgia on Friday in Charlotte, N.C., in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Huskies are a No. 7 seed, Georgia a No. 10.

  • photo
    Georgia forward Trey Thompkins (33) looks to pass as Alabama forward JaMychal Green (1) and Alabama forward Chris Hines (44) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament, Friday, March 11, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

"We're playing against a very good Georgia team," Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar said at a packed selection party at the Don James Center. "We have a lot of respect for that team. We're going to have to travel a long distance, but once you get invited to the NCAA tournament you go where they send you."

If the Huskies win their opener, they could face No. 2 seed North Carolina on Sunday, also in Charlotte.

Washington guard Isaiah Thomas, who hit the game-winning shot Saturday in the Pac-10 conference tournament final against Arizona, is getting ready for the Bulldogs.

"I'm worried about Georgia right now," he said. "It would be fun to play North Carolina in Carolina. But we got to take it one day at a time."

Romar talked to the crowd Sunday about the Huskies' play in the Pac-10 tournament. Washington, which finished third during the regular season, beat Washington State, Oregon and Arizona on consecutive days.

"These Huskies played with a purpose for three days," Romar said. "For three days you saw some young men go out and play with a purpose and energy and play together. ... A group of guys who were not going to be denied. We told our guys before the Arizona game that the tougher team would win and we were the tougher team that day.

"I want to acknowledge and commend our guys and say that I'm extremely proud of them."

The Huskies were one of four Pac-10 teams to make the tournament. Regular-season champion Arizona, a No. 5 seed, will play Memphis. UCLA, a No. 7, will open against Michigan State. USC faces Virginia Commonwealth in a first-round game, with the winner advancing to face Georgetown.

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