It was not with glee that UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard anticipated this week's basketball trip to, as he put it, "the Great Northwest." He's taking his Bruins to play tonight at Washington and Saturday afternoon at Washington State, and they're walking into a couple of tough situations.
Both Washington and Washington State have losing records, but are capable of upsetting the Bruins and setting back their quest for a strong finish and a good seeding into the Pacific 10 Conference tournament.
Washington (7-16 overall, 3-11 in Pac-10 play) has lost its last two and six of its last seven. But Hazzard can't heave a sigh of relief because the team the last-place Huskies beat was second-place Stanford in overtime, 84-82, last Saturday. And Stanford barely got past Washington State, 51-50, last Thursday.
See the problem?
And although UCLA did beat Washington at Pauley Pavilion earlier this season, UCLA has lost its last four games at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle. Hazzard's teams have yet to win on that court. This season the Huskies are 5-6 at home, 1-9 on the road and 1-1 on neutral courts.