Twice now in five days, seventh-seeded UW has walked onto an opponent’s home floor and walked all over the host team. Friday, it was an 85-72 win over third-seeded Kentucky, and four days earlier, it was a 74-65 win over second-seeded Maryland.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Don’t you dare say “Cinderella,” because that’s not what this is.

This run has nothing to do with stars aligning or Lady Luck picking a favorite.

You won’t find a glass slipper on the Washington women’s basketball team’s foot. The only thing that foot is doing is kicking butt.

Seriously, if anything, the Huskies are acting more like Cinderella’s stepsisters. They have been ruthless, merciless, and through three games, relentless. Did you see what they just did to Kentucky? They didn’t just beat the Wildcats — they beat them down.

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Twice now in five days, seventh-seeded UW has walked onto an opponent’s home floor and walked all over the host team. Friday, it was an 85-72 win over third-seeded Kentucky, and four days earlier, it was a 74-65 win over second-seeded Maryland.

In both cases, you have to think most everyone in attendance was expecting the Huskies to be sent home. Instead, the Huskies sent a message.

“I’m pretty sure everyone had the other team that’s playing us winning every game,” said UW center Chantel Osahor, “We know how good we are. We have a chip on our shoulder, and we just know if we go play our game that the results will take care of itself.”

You can tell the players believe by talking to them, and you can tell by looking at them, too. After crushing Kentucky in front of 8,509 fans, UW’s’ celebration-level was a 3 out of 10 at best.

Kelsey Plum gave a little fist pump and Talia Walton gave a little chest bump, but aside from that, the Huskies who actually logged minutes were as subdued as sheep.

Plum said the reason was because they wanted to be classy, but you have to think it was more than that. Three games into a potential six-game tournament, these gals feel like they’re only halfway done.

And why wouldn’t they?

When their three best players were on the court, the Huskies outscored Kentucky by 17. They got 30 points from Walton, 23 points and seven assists from Plum, and 19 points and 17 rebounds from Osahor.

When Kentucky would swarm Plum, she’d find Osahor for an open three-pointer. When Kentucky would close out on Osahor, she’d find Plum on a backdoor or Walton in the post. It wasn’t pick your poison — it was pick your poisons. The Huskies’ logo might as well have been a skull and crossbones.

After the game, Wildcats coach Matthew Mitchell didn’t hold back his acclaim for UW.

“They’re definitely capable of going to the Final Four,” he said. “I think that if they shot the ball the way they do — and they’ve got three really big-time scorers, at least they did tonight — they can go a long way.”

Of course, the million-dollar question is: If Washington is this good, how did it lose 10 games, finish the regular season out of the AP top 25, and get slapped with a seven seed? Well, Huskies coach Mike Neighbors has an answer.

He noted how his team has played 13 games against top-25 teams. He mentioned how the cutthroat nature of the Pac-12 — which had the top RPI in the country —makes NCAA tournament play feel like a breather. He asserted that because of the brutal nonconference schedules he insists on signing up for, his teams will always have a double-digit loss total.

But he concluded that because of all those challenges, when it comes time to Dance, “we’re built for this.”

It doesn’t hurt that, with Plum (26.2 ppg), UW has the fourth leading scorer in the country. It doesn’t hurt that, in her, they have a player who can score 16 points in the second half, as she did Friday.

But while it’s essential to have a star to win at this stage, this team is a lot more than one player.

Sunday, the Huskies will take on Stanford in hopes of reaching their first Final Four in program history. They can do it, too.

This may not be a fairy tale — but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a happy ending.