The Washington Huskies learned the hard way about playing a poor half in the NCAA Tournament. They spent the entire second half rallying but couldn't make the one play to tie the game, as Isaiah Thomas missed a runner with less than 20 seconds left Jon Brockman couldn't gather the rebound for a putback and Purdue hit its free throws for a 76-74 win.
Purdue is a tough defensive team with players that know their roles, but the real Huskies came to life in the second half. But it was a little too late. Thomas was brilliant along with Brockman but Justin Dentmon had a disappointing final game with five points on 2-for-8 shooting in 27 minutes. And wouldn't Huskies like to have back some of those touch fouls from Venoy Overton in the midcourt that led to free throws.
It seemed that Overton fell too much into the Venoying tag and tried for suicide steals instead of playing solid defense. Also, the Huskies had no answer for athletic JaJuan Johnson, who matched Brockman's girth with length and quickness. Brockman had troubles with some of the Pac-10's more athletic centers such as Jordan Hill and Saturday was the same.
It was a bitter ending to a tremendous season for Washington, and the question is whether will Husky fans be satisfied when their disappointment subsides.