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Cougar Basketball set to shock the world at Pac-12 Tournament

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Ernie Kent’s squad is just laying in the weeds

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington State
Hey Ernie, which way is your career trending?
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. Since we’re careening toward a barren wasteland of WSU-related content (ok, we’ve really been there since January), I was all set to go on an extended rant about...Tony Bennett? You read that correctly. I felt like issuing a sternly-worded letter about how I’ve had more than enough of the “I miss Tony, that was so fun” sentiment that still exists almost a decade (!!!) after he left. But there’s no reason to try and ruin your Sunday before it even begins.

So instead, let’s talk about how we’re all in store for a miracle run through the Pac-12 Tournament for our Men’s Basketball team. After nearly showing his hand with a Thursday win over Oregon, Ernie Kent reverted to his brilliant rope-a-dope strategy against Oregon State on Saturday. There’s no other way to explain why WSU got absolutely poleaxed on Senior Day by a team that hadn’t won a road game since the Carter Administration.*

*all dates approximate

So let’s try and read between the lines to get Ernie’s true strategy, as he is clearly playing an Iran-like long game here. Quotes courtesy of the Spokesman Review.

“They’re long, they’re athletic all over the floor,” Kent said. “They’re big, they’re strong.”

Translation - “Yeah, they’re 7-11, and they’re pretty lousy, so we had to play extra terrible - which is really saying something - so we could throw everybody else off the scent prior to our impending attack.”

“I didn’t think we did anything right,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said. “We didn’t compete. I didn’t think we punched back when we got hit in the mouth.”

Translation - “We’ve been saving our punches for the last four years. We’ll throw them all next week. You’ll see!”

“Didn’t see it coming, because we’ve been so good the last five games,” Kent said. “There’s a part of me that says just move it out of the way and get ready for the Pac-12 Tournament. But there’s another part of me that says Monday before we get on that plane, we need to make sure we find our game and practice before we get down there.”

Translation - “We’ve been ‘moving it out of the way’ for my entire tenure in preparation for the hell we’re about to unleash in Las Vegas. We probably won’t even practice because we did such a great job of fooling everyone with that performance against Oregon State.”

So now that we know WSU is primed to lay waste to everyone next weekend, let’s predict how it’ll play out.

Wednesday, WSU vs. Oregon: This is an easy one. The Cougs just got done beating the Ducks, so they clearly have the blueprint to do it again. Oh, and the last time WSU won a Pac-12 tournament game, they beat (you guessed it) Oregon. That was also you-know-who’s last victory at WSU. Cougars 77, Ducks 69

Thursday, WSU vs. Utah: The Cougs have had precious little success against the Utes on the hardwood. Ernie pulls out all the stops and inserts a new defender to shut down Utah. Some guy named Mata’afa dons a basketball jersey and reprises his role as the guy who completely ruins Utah’s day. Hercules stifles Utah’s attack for the second time this academic year, forcing 36 Ute turnovers. Cougs win 65-6.

Friday, WSU vs. USC: WSU reverts to the form it’s been fooling everyone with for most of the season. The Cougars turn the ball over 27 times and do not display nearly enough toughness and grit. Luckily for them, they’re playing the softies from Los Angeles, and the Cougars force one final turnover to seal it. 30-27 Cougs

Saturday, WSU vs. Arizona: WSU is no longer fooling anybody. The Wildcats are well aware that Ernie Kent has been playing possum for four seasons, and they’re ready to go. Shortly before the game, however, the FBI releases transcripts of a wire-tapped call between Miller and Kent. The transcripts reveal that Miller once financed a trip to Mexico for Kent, a clear violation of Pac-12 bylaws. Arizona is forced to forfeit, and WSU gets the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

The Cougars receive a #16 seed and head to Dayton, where they lose to a much grittier Arkansas-Pine Bluff squad, 77-48. Ernie exercises an obscure clause in his contract which calls for him to receive a lifetime extension if WSU ever makes any postseason tournament. While driving between North Platte and Grand Island on his statewide snake oil sales tour, Bill Moos laughs heartily.

See you in three weeks.

Basketball

Orange crush: Oregon State thumps Washington State for second time to close out regular season | The Spokesman-Review
On the heels of a marquee win over an Oregon team that appeared in last year’s Final Four, the Cougars hoped to build on their late-season success that produced three wins in five games.

Football

Luke Falk threw at the NFL Combine on Saturday. I’ll let you watch the video and make up your own mind as to whether you think he had a good outing. One thing I do know is that Mike Mayock didn’t watch any Falk video from mid-2016 onward.

Luke Falk 2018 NFL Scouting Combine workout - NFL Videos
Washington State QB Luke Falk performs at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

Luke Falk honors friend, late fellow Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski at NFL combine | The News Tribune
The All-Pac-12 thrower as a sophomore for the Cougars had--still has--a bond with Hilinski unlike with any of the other 103 Cougars players.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Made my way up to the National Capitol Region this week, and tried quite a few local beers. The best of them was probably Licking Hole Creek’s (yes, that’s a real brewery name) Heir Apparent.

It definitely was not the IPA I had at Reagan National Airport while unwittingly getting pulled into a conversation with a stranger, in which he decided to rant about the time Bernie Sanders “sold out Oregon’s football stadium, but nobody from the media covered it.” I’ve never chugged a craft beer faster in my life. I was also disappointed by Ballast Point’s Peanut Butter Victory at Sea. Victory at Sea is one of my favorite beers ever, but the PB variant is nothing special.

As far as the humorous article below, I realized long ago that making fun of one’s taste in beer only makes them more resistant to accepting it. Left to their own devices, many people will often come around to embracing craft beer on their own. I’ve seen it happen with my brother and another friend of mine. That said, don’t bring Heineken to a party. It’s terrible.

Beer Aisle Scanned For Something Asshole Friend Won’t Mock
At press time, a panicking Walsh was headed for the checkout after just grabbing the first bottle of wine he could find.

Non-Sports

The Amazing Story of the Russian Defector Who Changed his Mind
In a gush of Russian-accented English, the KGB colonel began to blurt out a number of astonishing Soviet secrets. The only problem for the Americans was slowing him down.