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Where does WSU stand with one game left?

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Not a lot of wiggle room!

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. This Washington State Cougars basketball season is really starting to become a “what might have been” type of year. In just about every way, that’s an improvement! Still, there is a bit of lament that WSU wasn’t able to play its games on time and at full strength. Such is life in sports, but it sure would have been nice to have played the Arizona State Sun Devils at home. Woulda been super if Isaac Bonton weren’t injured in garbage time, causing him to miss the last five games (and no, I don’t count what we saw on Thursday since he was clearly hobbled).

Would it have made a huge difference in the standings? Well, kind of? Let’s go out on a limb and say that a healthy Bonton would have given WSU the edge over Washington and ASU. That puts them at 9-10/16-10 headed into the final game on Monday. As it stands, WSU is in 10th place at 7-12, and would presumptively face the 9th-place/7-10 Utah Utes - who have two games remaining - in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

A 9-10 record would have WSU all but locked into 8th place, where they’d face the Washington Huskies instead of Utah. I never thought I’d write this, but I really wish WSU was going to be facing the Huskies! WSU and Utah matched up back in late January, and it didn’t go well for our guys. In what was their fourth of an eventual six-game losing streak, WSU trailed for the game’s final 39:16 enroute to a 71-56 beating. One of Utah’s remaining games is supposed to take place next Saturday against none other than ASU, who is tentatively scheduled to play another three games. So there is a decent chance that WSU will get to face noted whining diva Bobby Hurley for a third straight game. Hooray?

Either way, WSU will begin defense of its Pac-12 Basketball Tournament championship on Wednesday, 10 March. And the good news is that the day’s final game should begin no later than 7:30 p.m. But first, there’s a Monday afternoon delight against those Sun Devils to win. Go Cougs.

Basketball

Arizona State's Remy Martin hits winning 3-pointer to sink Washington State 77-74 in OT | The Spokesman-Review
WSU was on the precipice of its third double-overtime game this season when Remy Martin caught an inbound pass with 10 seconds to play, picked up a screen from Jalen Graham and stepped back before hoisting a 30-foot 3-point shot to give the Sun Devils a three-point lead with less than one second left.

Baseball

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but WSU Baseball seems to be pretty good! Yes, I understand that it’s extremely early, and they’re not exactly taking on the 1968 Detroit Tigers, but still. After seven games, the Cougars sit at 6-1, having scored 11 or more runs four times, and average north of 10 runs per game. To put that into context, in 2020 WSU scored 21 runs total in its first seven games. In 2019, the total through seven games was 26. On Friday and Saturday, the Cougars scored 34.

The Cougars will be aiming for a four-game sweep today over the Dixie State Somethingorothers on Sunday at 11:05, and you can stream the action here. I guarantee that whomever is announcing will be better than those knuckleheads who called the basketball game Thursday.

Cougars Use The Long Ball in 15-1 Win at Dixie State - Washington State University Athletics Washington State improved to 6-1 for the first time since the 2010 team opened with nine straight wins and started the year 9-1.

Football

Pac-12 Football: Ranking the Rosters for 2021
Oregon claimed its second consecutive Pac-12 championship to cap the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

This Week in Parenting

It’s funny how your kids can be a lot like your coworkers, in that you rarely hear from them when things are going fine, but as soon as there’s a problem IT MUST BE HANDLED POST HASTE SO SET EVERYTHING ELSE ASIDE. This week brought two issues. First, the 12 year-old called after school and said that he was unable to log in to Disney+. Turns out that, after two months of no issues, the fine folks at Disney+ just decided to stop renewing my subscription.

As most of you have likely experienced, arranging to deactivate any auto-renew service tends to be more rigorous than walking out of North Korea. But for some reason, Disney just decided, “nah, we don’t want your $12.99 anymore.” What??!! After several minutes of chatting with an agent online (to no avail), and having three different credit cards rejected for no apparent reason, I finally was able to turn things back on by using PayPal, and the panic at the Kendall house subsided. Dear Disney, please stop making it so difficult for me to hand over my money. Have you been consulting with the CAF or something?

Now that we’ve solved that, Deutsche Telekom arbitrarily decided to take the 12 year-old’s phone off the cell network, so I got another call on Friday. Unfortunately, my superior technology skills, which consist of telling him to turn the phone off, then back on, didn’t fix the issue. Super. Oh and my car is also dead, but I haven’t figured out a way to pin that one on the kids just yet. I’m sure they did something nefarious to it, and if not, I’ll make something up.

Book Club

Finally about half way through my Baltic history book, and learning about the manorial system and the difference between corvée labor and indentured servitude. It’s a roller coaster!

So I decided that I’ll start throwing out some of my favorite books throughout the last couple decades in case you’d like to give them a try. First up is the first book I ever read voluntarily (meaning the first book I read after I graduated from WSU). That would be Friday Night Lights. As slow a reader as I am, I plowed through it in no time, and I’m sure you will, too.

Buzz Bissinger Retrospective Interview - Matt Tuthill
In a recent interview with Blitz Magazine, Bissinger reflected on Permian’s 1988 season, the backlash he faced in Odessa, his complicated relationship with Boobie, and how the cottage industry that has been constructed around Friday Night Lights creeps further and further away from his central themes.

Non-Sports

The Untold History of America’s Zero-Day Market | WIRED
The lucrative business of dealing in code vulnerabilities is central to espionage and war planning, which is why brokers never spoke about it—until now.