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Looking back at Washington State’s last NCAA Tournament appearance

WSU beat Notre Dame to advance to the Sweet 16 exactly 11 years ago yesterday.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Salt Lake City Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Coug fans. I hope you’re enjoying the NCAA Tournament. I thought it’d be nice to look back at WSU’s last win in the tournament. It happened exactly 11 years ago yesterday.

That’s when your fourth-seeded Washington State Cougars battled the fifth-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second round. WSU won its first round against Winthrop 71-40 (believe it or not, the game was tied at halftime). Notre Dame beat George Mason in the first round.

The Irish featured guard Kyle McAlarney who could hurt you with the three, and big Luke Harangody who could hurt you with his huge frame. I remember some pundits had Notre Dame as the trendy pick given McAlarney and Harangody’s ability to take over games. But WSU fans knew better.

The Cougs had a commanding 32-19 lead at halftime and won comfortably, 61-41. The game was never in doubt, and this was one of the finest examples of Bennett Ball.

The Cougs pretty much used a seven-man rotation, with Derrick Low scoring 18 points, Kyle Weaver 15, and Robbie Cowgill pitching in 12. Chris Henry, Jeremy Cross, Nikola Koprivica and Thomas Abercrombie each got in for one minute.

Harangody (10) and McAlarney (12) were the only players in double figures for Notre Dame. Harangody pulled down an astonishing 22 rebounds.

McAlarney said after the game that he thought WSU could win the national championship because of the way they completely shut down the Irish offense. That got Coug fans all giddy. Of course, the Sweet 16 game against North Carolina and the “thrashing croc” Tyler Hansbrough, as Aron Baynes called him, didn’t go so well.

Check out the box score from the Notre Dame game. And while you’re at it, check out the box score from the first round win over Winthop. WSU only allowed 11 points in the second half!

You can also relive the game here:

This week in Pac-12 follies

Two of the Pac-12’s three NCAA Tournament teams won this weekend, which should be celebrated. Instead, the conference trips over itself once again. First, we got a report from Jon Wilner of The San Jose Mercury News about a letter sent to Larry Scott by three former football officials criticizing the league and revealing that Woodie Dixon has entered the replay booth multiple times. Great.

Then, John Canzano of the Oregonian wrote a column citing a source that said Larry Scott liked to fool around with the budgets of the conference and the Pac-12 Network.

What can we expect next week?

Canzano: Pac-12 problems won’t go away until the commissioner does -
Oregon State’s Dr. Edward Ray announces he’ll leave his post, now how about Larry Scott?

Ex-Pac-12 football officials lambast conference policies
Three longtime Pac-12 officials sent a letter to the conference office that offered sharp, detailed criticism of the officiating program's policies and culture.


A trip down memory lane - have advancements in tv and tech made the NCAA tourney better?
If you think about the core staple American sporing events, I submit that that no event has evolved in terms of how we watch it in my lifetime than the NCAA Tournament.

Carter Skaggs looking towards future – Cougar Sports Network
As he announced on twitter Wednesday, Cougar sharpshooter Carter Skaggs is departing from the WSU program to pursue new endeavors in the basketball world.