Three observations on UW men’s 4-game winning streak

The Huskies (6-2) have beaten the teams it should beat and lost when expected. We take a look at UW as it heads into Wednesday’s big showdown against No. 2 Kansas.

The Washington men’s basketball team finished its four-game homestand Sunday with its fourth straight win – an 86-73 victory over Nebraska Omaha.

Here are a few observations on the Huskies.

NICE START, BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: The best way to sum up the season at this point under first-year coach Mike Hopkins is, the Huskies have won the games they should have. But there’s been few surprises, which is both good and bad.

Washington (6-2) has six wins at home against mostly middling to below-average mid-majors with a combined 20-30 record. A few of the teams UW has beaten have notched some notable wins, but only UC Davis (5-2) looks like it poses a serious threat to win its conference.

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Belmont (5-4) and Seattle University (5-4) are the only other opponents UW has beaten with a winning record. In addition to Eastern Washington (3-5), Washington’s resume contains a blowout win against Kennesaw State (1-7) and a closer-than-expected victory against Nebraska-Omaha (1-8), which goes a long way to instilling confidence in a team that was 9-22 last year. But ultimately, those games will be forgotten next month when the Pac-12 season begins.

Washington is 0-2 against Power 5 teams, which is just as telling as their wins. The Huskies were competitive during a 77-70 loss to Providence, but they were overwhelmed by Virginia Tech in a 103-79 defeat. Providence (6-2) and Virginia Tech (7-1) are far more representative of what UW will see when conference play begins.

And an upset or two would have given the Huskies added confidence for what they’re about to face. Speaking of which …

THAT WAS FUN, BUT HERE COMES THE REAL CHALLENGE: Ask yourself – and be honest – is it a moral victory if Washington stays within 10 points of No. 2 Kansas during Wednesday’s game? If you answered no, then you probably don’t believe the Huskies are in the same class as the Jayhawks (7-0), which already has wins over then-No. Kentucky and Syracuse. If you answered yes, then you likely think Hopkins’ 2-3 zone can slow down a KU team that averages 91.9 points per game. The Huskies will also need to generate offense against a team that allows opponents 61.3 points.

And if you’re pondering moral victory…

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