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Cougar Basketball, Cougar Football and random thoughts

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It was more of the same for Ernie Kent's team Saturday, so let's branch out a bit.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. At the moment, it is 32 degrees here on the Redneck Riviera, also known as Northwest Florida. Meanwhile, it is 37 degrees in Pullman. That makes sense. Those 37 degrees are a veritable heat wave compared to the performance our Cougs put on at the free throw line against Colorado. Poor foul shooting led, almost directly, to a WSU loss. Stop me if you've read this before.

On a somewhat brighter note, ESPN's Pac-12 Blog continued its series of the Top 25 players in the conference. This week, that list concluded with the Top Five. Our very own Luke Falk checked in fifth. That's not too bad for a guy who missed the last game-and-a-half of the season. Feel free to let Dan Rubenstein know that Vernon Adams wasn't in the Top 10 (he was 11th).

With that, let's get to a couple random non-sports thoughts, as writing about WSU Basketball isn't exactly fun right now.

I saw The Revenant last Monday. Holy cow, it was quite an adventure. I have no idea how they staged the bear attack scene, and I've never been attacked by a bear, but my word did it look frighteningly realistic. Later on, the main character eats a raw bison liver. Guess what? Leonardo DiCaprio ACTUALLY ATE RAW BISON LIVER. Good lord.

If you're not familiar with the plot, DiCaprio's character has a lot of really bad stuff happen to him, due to both people and the aforementioned bear. He sets out to seek vengeance on the one guy mainly responsible for his suffering. In the end, when he and the man he pursues are face-to-face, the man says something to him that puts the whole idea of vengeance in a sobering light. If you're not averse to frontier-like violence, I recommend it.

I haven't seen The Big Short yet, but if it's half as good as the book, it will be worth the price of admission.

Random sampling of good beers I've had recently: Cigar City Granola Peach Brown Ale, Southern Tier Warlock Pumpkin Stout, Thomas Creek Chocolate Orange IPA, Great Lakes Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale, Lagunitas Born Yesterday Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Brown Shugga (always awesome), Ballast Point Calm Before the Storm Cream Ale, New Belgium Citradelic IPA and DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. That last one is sooooo good.

I can't recall ever being less interested in the NFL's conference championship games than I am this season. Thank heavens for totally legal wagering.

I have other random thoughts, like all of you, but I'll spare you the rest. We'll be back next week with your regularly-scheduled programming. Hopefully that will include a Cougar victory.

Basketball

Cougars keep up with Colorado, except at free-throw line | The Spokesman-Review
The home team took care of the hard stuff on Saturday but was again undone by the freebies, losing to the Buffaloes 75-70 thanks entirely to 11 missed free throws.

John Blanchette: Ernie Kent’s Coug Book of 2015-16 features plot twists | The Spokesman-Review
The argument is whether this year’s Cougars are better than Kent’s first offering and that’s likely, even if they don’t get close to the seven Pac-12 victories that team cobbled together. They shoot it better and, as they showed Saturday, have the ability to defend better – Colorado shot just 39 percent – although, no, the weekend proved that’s not a constant.

Cougars Can’t Keep Pace with Washington - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The teams traded baskets and the lead for much of the fourth quarter. With WSU leading by one point with 2:20 to play in the game, the Huskies scored seven unanswered points, including 4-of-5 from the free throw line to clinch the victory.

Football

Can Wazzu maintain gains made on both lines?
From a size and strength standpoint, only recently has WSU given itself a chance to compete in the Pac-12. It’s rare for any school to find players ready to start as true freshmen, but even more so for WSU, which isn’t usually in the mix for players who are generally accepted as the nation’s best.

2016 Pac-12 Schedule, Top Ten Games, Rankings | College Football News
What are the biggest and best games of the 2016 Pac-12 season? What are the best conference and non-conference games?

Track and Field

WSU Breaks Meet Records, Sets PRs at WSU Open Meet - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State’s Thane Pierson broke the 13-year old meet high jump record Saturday at the 14th Annual WSU Open Indoor Track & Field meet at the Indoor Facility in Pullman.

Beer

*Updated* 2016 Craft Beer Release Calendars PorchDrinking.com
So this is totally awesome.

Non-Sports

Here’s How Winning the Lottery Makes You Miserable | TIME
About 70 percent of people who suddenly receive a windfall of cash will lose it within a few years, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education.