It's no understatement to call Washington's path to an NCAA tournament bid an uphill battle after an 86-80 loss to Duke on Saturday afternoon.
At this point, the Huskies face the equivalent of climbing Mount Rainier to get back into at-large contention.
Normally a pedestrian 4-4 start and a lack of marquee non-league victories would be flaws Washington could overcome in conference play, but the unusually weak Pac-12 doesn't provide many chances for noteworthy wins. The Pac-12 ranks ninth in conference RPI entering the weekend and does not boast a single team in either major Top 25 poll.
Winning the Pac-12 regular season title would almost certainly get Washington into the NCAA tournament, but more experienced Huskies teams have been unable to play with enough consistency on the road to achieve that goal. Washington is 0-2 in true road games this season, dropping its road record to 9-14 since the start of the 2009-10 season.
Perhaps worst of all for the Huskies, they may not have th...