I'm going to come right out and say the world isn't ending. We will still have a decent shot at the tournament even if we lose this weekend. Why? We have two things working in our favor.
1) Our RPI. While our RPI currently isn't great (#65), it has been climbing and more importantly our opponents' RPI is climbing. Though Portland has fallen (as expected) to the 51-100 range, UCLA has crept into the Top 50, Arizona into the Top 25, Cal is approaching Top 50 (#54), Stanford has almost cracked Top 100 (#111) and Baylor & Gonzaga are holding steady in the Top 100. As the conference schedules go on, expect all games other than Gonzaga, Portland and Butler to look more important. Our SOS will increase and we'll be in a good position heading into the conference tournament. Currently, we are 3-6 against Top 100 teams, but we get a rematch with four of those losses, and three of them at home. Which brings me to...
2) Our remaining schedule. Win or lose Sunday, the next four games seem eminently winnable. @Oregon, @OSU, hosting Cal, and hosting Stanford. This represents a great opportunity to head into our road game at Arizona on a four (or five!) game roll. Arizona will come into that game having just finished a three game road trip, so they could be tired or they could be fired up to be at home, who knows. We then play The Classic Trap Game (sorry) against ASU before heading to Seattle and hosting the LA schools. We have a reasonable chance of going 7-2 down the stretch.
The biggest hole in our resume right now is a quality win. Gonzaga and Baylor have sadly not duplicated their success from the last few years, and close doesn't cut it in losses to K-State, UCLA and Arizona. However, unlike last year's bubble teams in the Pac-10, we have played plenty of quality opponents. 3-6 in the Top 100 isn't a great record, but by the end of the year it could easily look like 7-9 (losing both to UW and Arizona), or if we can steal a game or two 8-8 or 9-7. That's not exactly high seed material but it is probably enough to get us in the tournament.
So losing to UW isn't the end of the world. I think we can finish 3rd in the Pac-10 and make the tournament but we have to win the games we should and maybe even nick one as an underdog. I'm not sure if this team can be consistent enough to do it, but the opportunity is there. Go Cougs!