Even the Las Vegas oddsmakers saw it, making Washington a favorite Friday over likely NCAA Tournament-bound USC. The Trojans came out playing uncharacteristically weak defense, fought back into the game but played sloppily down the stretch in an 85-70 loss at Washington that equals the team’s worst defeat of the season. “We’re playing for seeding, the coach said, and we never know how the tournament (selection) might go,” Nick Young said. “We might be shipped out to the East Coast to play against Florida.” Though it won’t impress the NCAA seeding committee, if USC had to lose a game this was a good choice. The Trojans (21-9, 11-6) can still take second place in the Pac-10 by beating Washington State in their final regular-season game. USC also could finish as low as fourth if it loses to the Cougars and Stanford beats Arizona. The game going on simultaneously across the state was actually more important to the Trojans. SEATTLE – It almost seemed inevitable. In a nearly meaningless game with a showdown for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference looming Saturday, the Trojans were ripe for a letdown. UCLA’s victory in Pullman set up the tiebreaker scenario that would put the Trojans ahead of the Cougars. That might have had something to do with USC’s early lackadaisical effort on defense. The game started getting away toward the end of the first half when Washington (17-12, 7-10) hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions. The Huskies made 9 of 13 3-point shots in the first half. When Ryan Appleby hit the third 3-pointer in that series, it sparked a controversy. The shot went up just as the Huskies were called for a foul away from the ball. The referees appeared to be waving off the shot but, after a conference, called it good. That set off USC coach Tim Floyd, who ran at the official and got a technical. Appleby hit one of two free throws, giving Washington a 44-30 lead. The Trojans trailed 48-37 at the half. “We put ourselves in a hole early by not defending,” Floyd said. “It wasn’t one of our better defensive efforts. … I thought we didn’t get back defensively with our perimeter players, and we made some real mistakes in terms of location.” Washington’s lead swelled to 17 points early in the second half on a 3-point play by Quincy Pondexter. USC battled back to within five points behind the play of Young, who led the team with 26 points and displayed the wide variety of pro-style offensive moves that could help him leave early for the NBA after the season. Down 70-64, USC turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions starting with a dreadful attempt at an alley-oop pass from Lodrick Stewart to Gabe Pruitt. Stewart, a senior who attended high school in Seattle, also lost the ball on a drive to the basket down 74-66. Spencer Hawes scored for Washington on the other end and that was the end of USC’s comeback hopes. Though the game didn’t mean much for the Trojans, it did to Stewart. Stewart’s father Andrew, brothers Kadeem and Hadeem and son Jaylin were sitting right behind the USC bench. Stewart, who usually does well in front of family members, scored 9 points. “It just didn’t go my way tonight,” Stewart said. “This was one I wanted to look back on and say I beat (Washington) my last game playing in front of my hometown fans. “It’s frustrating to lose this game.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!