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WSU defeats Colorado in Overtime, earns 9th seed in Pac-12 Tournament

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The Cougars sent three seniors out on a high note Saturday, defeating the Buffaloes in overtime.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Coug fans. Hopefully you remembered to move your clocks forward Saturday night, since we as a society can't seem to decide on one set hour for the entire year. The Cougar basketball team also took a step forward Saturday night, sending the three seniors out on a high note with an overtime victory over Colorado. They didn't make it easy, of course, since easy victories for WSU Athletics are about as abundant as Bigfoot sightings.

In front of Kyle Sherwood and approximately 24 WSU students, the Cougs used a torrid shooting stretch toward the end of the first half to (13 straight made field goals) to take a seven point lead into halftime. Josh Hawkinson was the primary contributor in the first half, scoring 18 of his 21 points, and it was clear that this game wouldn't be anything like the 90-58 beatdown the Cougars took in Boulder. The second half was largely back-and-forth, with WSU holding Colorado at arm's length. It didn't end that way, of course, as Colorado rallied to take the lead, and it felt ike the Utah and UW games all over again.

After Ike Ireogbu's horribly-missed five-footer resulted in a Colorado possession, it looked to be over. Then the Cougs made a game-changing play on...defense? I was just as stunned as everyone else. Following a held ball forced by Iroegbu and Que Johnson, DaVonte Lacy got another chance to be the hero, after missing a couple threes moments earlier. Lacy came through, and regulation ended in a tie after Askia Booker's desperation heave barely missed.

Overtime began with the seniors establishing a lead and the underclassmen putting the game on ice at the foul line. It looked to me like Railey got mostly arm on his critical block of a Colorado dunk attempt, but I was watching on an iPad couldn't really tell. Tad Boyle clearly thought it was a foul, judging by his approximately 36-inch vertical leap from his seat when the whistle wasn't blown. It was still a two-possession game when Colorado decided to give WSU a huge assist.

With the score 89-84 and 16 seconds remaining, Colorado's Tre'Shaun Fletcher took the ball near the sideline. It was too close to the sideline, however, as his foot was out of bounds. It was at this point that college basketball went college basketball. Despite the fact that the official who ruled Fletcher out of bounds was looking at the play from no further than four feet away, the referees decided to go to the monitor to look at the replay. Two inconclusive angles and a couple minutes later, WSU had the ball and it was decided.

EDIT: I meant to bring this up in my original post, but it slipped my mind. Here is a brief summation of the first two portions of the second half:

  • 19:41 - Foul on Jordan Railey
  • 19:35 - Foul on Josh Scott
  • 19:01 - Foul on Junior Longrus
  • 18:37 - Foul on Dominique Collier
  • 18:27 - Foul on Tre'Shaun Fletcher
  • 18:05 - Foul on Dexter Kernich-Drew
  • 17:26 - Foul on Da'Vonte Lacy
  • 17:12 - Foul on Da'Vonte Lacy
  • 16:57 - Foul on Dominque Collier
  • 16:26 - Foul on Xavier Talton
  • 15:40 - Foul on Josh Scott / TV Timeout
  • 14:48 - Foul on Ike Iroegbu
  • 13:03 - Foul on Askia Booker
  • 12:35 - Foul on Ike Iroegbu

In other words, there were 11 whistles for fouls alone before the first TV timeout, and both teams were in the Bonus less than seven minutes and 30 seconds into the second half. I have no idea what is prompting people like Seth Davis and our own Jeff Nusser to write about the increasing unwatchability (if I can invent a word) of college basketball.

This was truly a team effort for WSU, with four players logging 36-plus minutes and six players finishing in double figures, led by Hawkinson's 21 points. Those minutes came at the expense of Ny Redding and Brett Boese, who logged just two and five minutes, respectively. On the other side, it was a two-man show for Colorado, as Askia Booker and Josh Scott combined for 58 points and no other Buffalo finished in double figures. Luckily for WSU, Booker missed all seven of his three point tries.

As a result, WSU finished in an 8th-place tie with Cal and Colorado, far above what nearly every WSU fan foresaw at the conference season's outset. However, since this is WSU and we can seemingly never have nice things, "winning" the tie-breaker for the ninth spot and the subsequent matchup with 8th-seeded Cal is actually to WSU's detriment.

Although a win in the Pac-12 Tournament is never a sure thing (as the last five years have shown us), a win against the Golden Bears will mean a rematch with conference champ Arizona, whereas the 10th seed would have brought a game with Oregon State, followed by Oregon. Oh well, let's just hope the Cougs can break their long streak of winless trips to the postseason tournament.

Basketball

Cougars prevail in OT against Colorado - Spokesman.com - March 7, 2015
In the days leading up to Washington State’s last regular-season home game, coach Ernie Kent insisted that the so-called Senior Day is not about the players that leave a program but those who replace them.

CU men's basketball: Buffs can't hold lead in OT loss to Cougars - Boulder Daily Camera
This is a great quote by Tad Boyle. "You score 91 points on the road, you're supposed to win, if you're worth a crap defensively," Boyle said. "We weren't very good defensively tonight."

Highlights: MBB vs. Colo. - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Highlights of WSU's win over Colorado.

Football

Spring preview: 10 bold Pac-12 predictions - ESPN
5. Mike Leach gon' Mike Leach at some point and say something non-football related that makes headlines.

Scout.com: 2015 Pre-Preseason Rankings: No. 69-78
Who doesn't love a set of rankings in March? The good news is that we rank ahead of every non-conference opponent. The other good news is that Bill and Ted would love our ranking, dude. Other than that, it's all bad news.

Baseball

Big Hits Propel Cougars Past Pioneers - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Ben Roberts hit his first home run of the season and Cameron Frost knocked in a pair as the Cougars win their second consecutive home-series with a 5-2 victory over Sacred Heart, Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Beer

Stouts Are The Best Beers
Here is a guy after my own heart. There are at least two stouts on my Mt. Rushmore of beers, Santa Fe Java Stout and Left Hand Milk Stout. Oh, and my Mt. Rushmore of beers has like 20 beers, not four.

Non-Sports

BTK's daughter
I had no idea about this guy when I lived in Wichita. I'm actually really glad I had no idea about this guy when I lived in Wichita.