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Nick Rolovich’s Cougar Madness has its Final Four

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We could see an Apple Cup vs. Apple Cup in the final.

Washington State University Cougars Photo by Washington State/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

The Cougar Madness Bracket Nick Rolovich and WSU Athletics launched at the beginning of the month was probably planned as a fun thing to do as spring football approached. Little did we know that it is now serving as a great distraction while we’re left with no sports for the time being.

This week, the second round matchups took place and we now have the Cougar Madness Final Four:

One one side of the bracket, we have the 2018 win over Oregon up against the 1997 Apple Cup. That’s a good matchup. On the other side, we have the 1992 Apple Cup battling the 2017 win over USC. That’s a solid matchup, but it appears it’ll be playing second fiddle to the other semifinal.

That 1997 Apple Cup dominated its Twitter poll over the 2012 Apple Cup, the latter of which shouldn’t have even been in the second round, but good job Twitter users!

The 2018 win over Oregon was all sorts of fun and College GameDay being in town made even more so. But the 1997 Apple Cup is the biggest win in WSU history. It was against our rivals on the road with the Rose Bowl on the line. How bigger can you get? My vote goes to the Apple Cup, which was my big favorite coming into the tournament, even as the four seed.

As for the 1992 Apple Cup vs. 2017 USC? A win against our rivals in the snow with that famous Bledsoe to Bobo touchdown pass will never grow old. The USC win on a Friday night on ESPN was loads of fun as well. This one is much closer than the other semifinal, and I’m going with the 1992 Apple Cup.

It should be a battle of Apple Cups in the final, if I have anything to say about it. Follow Nick Rolovich on Twitter and keep your eyes open for the polls.

I feel awful for A.J. Block

The Cougar hurler said “no thanks” to Major League Baseball and the Detroit Tigers, who drafted him in the 17th round last summer, to return to WSU for his senior season, only to see it cut short due to COVID-19. Pat Chun met with reporters yesterday (here’s Michael’s post on that) and here’s what Chun said about Block:

“When I addressed the team, I happened to catch a glimpse of AJ Block, who’s our starting senior catcher [editor’s note: he’s actually a pitcher] who got drafted last year and although he won’t say it, I’m guessing he didn’t have the greatest experience his first three years, or at least the experiences that were promised to him. But he bought in to what the new coach was trying to deliver, he was a key cog to this and knowing he came back – he’s a 4.0, he’s an engineer student – knowing how much he put into this, and he got drafted. So, knowing that he wasn’t going to be able to finish the year out, those are the tough discussions.”

Man.

Links

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Transcript: Pat Chun delivers update on state of Washington State Athletics as school deals with coronavirus | The Spokesman-Review
One week removed from the NCAA’s decision to cancel its basketball tournaments, spring sports and indefinitely suspend other organized team activities, WSU AD Pat Chun spoke with reporters to discuss how the changes have impacted student-athletes in Pullman, the financial impact and what they mean for upcoming events such as spring football and Pro Day.

Washington State Athletics in ‘triage mode’ as department, university react to COVID-19 pandemic | The Spokesman-Review
As Pat Chun sat in on a season-ending meeting for Washington State’s baseball team – a gathering that took place last week, nearly two months before it would under normal circumstances – the athletic director briefly thought about A.J. Block.

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Derrik Klassen continues the Quantifying Quarterbacks series with late-round favorite Washington State QB Anthony Gordon. (AP)

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Everything NFL draft fans need to know about Washington State quarterback prospect Anthony Gordon

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