IT’S NOT OFTEN that ESPN suppresses its East Coast bias long enough to point a few cameras at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, and when it does, it usually sends the B team: The last time the self—proclaimed “World Wide Leader” rolled into Montlake to cover the Huskies hoops squad, in November 2007, it broadcast the game on ESPN2. On February 20, the network will make up for lost time by sending the whole College GameDay crew—including the two-headed hydra of cranky basketball analysis, Digger Phelps and Bobby Knight—to Hec Ed for UW’s conference date with UCLA.
If we needed more proof that Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has put the Huskies on the national map, it’s this stamp of approval from GameDay: The traveling pregame show makes about eight stops a year, typically at the campuses of legitimate NCAA squads. In other words, as an associate athletic director at the University of Kansas, which has hosted the show three times, says: “Appreciate the moment. You don’t know when or if it will happen again.”