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ESPN’s Bilas: Impressive Huskies still have work to do to make tournament

The arrivals of Mike Hopkins and Jaylen Nowell have helped turn the Huskies around. (AP)
LISTEN: Jay Bilas on UW's tournament odds

The Washington Huskies knocked off then-No. 2 Kansas – in Kansas City. They took down USC – in Los Angeles. And now they’re coming off back-to-back wins over then-No. 25 Arizona State and then-No. 9 Arizona.

Mike Hopkins has UW playing like an NCAA Tournament team, which is why the Huskies have suddenly become the talk of the Pac-12 – and why Brock and Salk brought ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas on to discuss the program’s resurgence.

Huskies are biggest Seattle sports surprise in over a decade

“I think Washington’s good,” Bilas said. “Obviously they’ve won some important games. Not a lot of teams have a ton of quality wins like Washington has. … Those are quality wins against good competition.”

Even though the Huskies (17-6 overall, 7-3 conference) have those big wins, Bilas said UW still has work to do before it can rest assured that its six-year NCAA Tournament drought ends this season.

“They’ve gotta keep winning, there’s no argument there,” Bilas said. “They’re solid and they’re in the conversation, but they’re not in yet. They’re just sorta knocking on the door and among a bunch of teams that are gonna be considered, but they’re not in yet.”

Bilas also talked about what he thinks about Hopkins coaching style, made an assessment of freshman Jaylen Nowell’s game (“He’s sorta wired to score. I really like that kid.”) and much more in the interview, which you can listen to in full in this podcast.

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