The Huskies were picked to finish 3rd in the Pac-12 Preseason Media poll while landing four players on the Preseason All-Conference teams.
Noah Dickerson had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and ninth-seeded Washington made a successful return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years, beating Utah State 78-61 on Friday.
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.
The Huskies held the Utes without a field goal for the opening 11:50 of the second half. Parker Van Dyke's two free throws with 15:12 to play were the only points for Utah until Booth Gach knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:50 remaining.
Nahziah Carter had highlight reel dunks and 18 points with three steals as Washington used suffocating defense to beat Oregon State 79-69 on Saturday. Three of the Huskies' losses are to ranked teams, and a road performance like Saturday's could help perception about the squad.