Washington labored at both ends through most of the first half against Colorado, unable to hit shots or get its vaunted defense rolling.
Once the Huskies started swarming, the Buffaloes didn’t have an answer.
Jaylen Nowell and Nahziah Carter scored 14 points each, and Washington held off a late Colorado rally for a 66-61 victory in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals Friday night in Las Vegas.
“We just challenged these guys to play defense,” Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said.
After struggling in the first half, Washington (26-7) kicked its long-armed, swarming defense into a faster gear and the fifth-seeded Buffaloes (21-12) had trouble handling it.
#12 Florida State 69, #2 Virginia 59: David Nichols scored 14 points and the Seminoles (27-6) advanced to the ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C. Phil Cofer had 11 points for the Seminoles. Virginia fell to 29-3.
#5 Duke 74, #3 North Carolina 73: Zion Williamson had the go-ahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left and Duke advanced to the ACC final. Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Blue Devils (28-5) survived a fight with their fierce rival.
#4 Kentucky 73, Alabama 55: Tyler Herro scored 20 points and the Wildcats (27-5) started their quest for a fifth straight SEC Tournament title. Tevin Mack scored 22 points for Alabama (18-15) in Nashville.
Photo: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images
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#6 Michigan St. 77, Ohio St. 70: Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists and the Spartans (26-6) gave Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo his 600th career victory in a Big Ten quarterfinal in Chicago.
#8 Tennessee 83, Mississippi State: In Nashville, Admiral Schofield scored 20 points and Tennessee (28-4) moved on to an SEC quarterfinal. Aric Holman scored 20 points for Mississippi State (23-10).
Florida 76, #9 LSU 73: In an SEC quarterfinal in Nashville, Andrew Nembhard hit a 3-pointer with a second left and the eighth-seeded Gators (19-14) beat the Tigers (26-6).
#10 Michigan 74, Iowa 53: In Chicago, Zavier Simpson sparked Michigan’s balanced attack with 10 points on perfect shooting and 11 assists, and the Wolverines (27-5) picked apart Iowa (22-11).
#11 Houston 84, UConn 45: In Memphis, Corey Davis Jr. scored 22 points and the Cougars (30-2) rolled past the Huskies (16-17) in an American Athletic quarterfinal.
Minnesota 75, #13 Purdue 73: Jordan Murphy scored 27 points, Amir Coffey added 21 points and the Gophers (21-12) advanced to the Big Ten semifinals in Chicago by beating the Boilermakers (23-9).
San Diego State 65, #14 Nevada 56: Devin Watson had 20 points and five assists and San Diego State held the Wolf Pack (29-4) scoreless for nearly seven minutes late in the victory for the Aztecs (21-12) in a Mountain West semifinal in Las Vegas.
Iowa State 63, #15 Kansas State 59: Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State (22-11) the lead over K-State (25-8) in the final minute of a Big 12 semifinal in Kansas City.
#17 Kansas 88, West Virginia 74: In Kansas City, Dedric Lawson poured in 24 points for Kansas (25-8) and Quentin Grimes added 18 before leaving late in the Big 12 semifinal with cramps.
#18 Buffalo 85, Central Michigan 81: C.J. Massinburg dropped a spinning layup and made four free throws in the final 32 seconds to help Buffalo (30-3) advance to the Mid-American title game in Cleveland. Rob Montgomery scored 17 points for the Chippewas (23-11).
#19 Wisconsin 66, Nebraska 62: D’Mitrik Trice hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left and the Badgers (23-9) advanced to a Big Ten semifinal.
#22 Auburn 73, S. Carolina 64: Jared Harper scored 27 to lead the Tigers (24-9) in an SEC quarterfinal.
Seton Hall 81, #23 Marquette 79: Myles Powell sparked the Pirates with 18 second-half points and Big East player of the year Markus Howard of Marquette came up short on a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in a Big East semifinal.
#24 Cincinnati 82, SMU 74: Jarron Cumberland had two late three-point plays and finished with 26 points to help the Bearcats win an American Athletic semifinal.
#25 Villanova 71, Xavier 67: Phil Booth scored 28 points, Jermaine Samuels hit a trio of critical 3-pointers and Villanova rallied in overtime to reach the Big East final.
Women’s championships: Desirae Hansen hit a 12-foot jumper with 2.9 seconds remaining to lift Portland State (25-7) to a 61-59 victory over Eastern Washington and claim the Big Sky title. … Blanca Millan had 19 points and eight rebounds as Maine (25-7) beat Hartford 68-48 to win the America East title .
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Huskies-kick-in-swarming-defense-13693392.php.