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Selection Sunday looms for Cougar basketball

Hopefully both the men and women get to keep playing.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! We assume it came earlier than usual, as the lost hour of Daylight Saving - NOT SAVINGS - Time took effect early Sunday. Over here in Deutschland, we hang on to that extra hour for another couple weeks, which means that sports come on earlier for a bit! But that’s neither here nor there.

Sunday is the day when the Washington State Cougars basketball teams learn whether and where they will be taking part in the postseason. For the women, all signs are pointing to a berth in the Women’s NCAA Tournament. As of the latest Bracketology update (8 p.m. Saturday evening) WSU’s position hadn’t changed, as the women are forecast for a game in Iowa City as the 11-seed, against the 6th-seeded Ole Miss Rebels. I recommend that they head to The Airliner for some pizza or a burger, or to Panchero’s for an El Gordo. I can personally vouch for the quality of those places.

There are a few others who wade into predicting the women’s field aside from ESPN, so we’ll mention those as well. Over at Just Women’s Sports, the Cougs are forecast to be one of the 10 seeds, which parrots College Sports Madness, who has WSU facing Nebraska - WE ALL DETEST BILL MOOS GAME - in the Wichita Regional. Finally, there’s RealTimeRPI which, aside from appearing to have its code written in 1996, has good news and bad news. The good news is WSU’s Spokane location. However, they put WSU on the 9 line, which is not a place anyone wants to be. Give me the 10/11 seed all day.

The upshot is that Kamie Ethridge and her squad appear to be safely in the Big Dance for the second consecutive season. Let’s hope they get to hang around longer than 2021. You can see when and where the Cougar women will play by tuning in to the selection show Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. PDT on ESPN.

Over on the men’s side, things are a good bit dicier, unfortunately. Saturday brought more bad news from elsewhere in conference tournament land, as Big West top seed Long Beach State lost, 72-71, in the final. That means that the 49ers played the role of NIT bid thief since they won their regular season championship, removing another spot from the at-large pool.

WSU is currently in this NIT Bracketology field, though it has not been updated to reflect LBSU’s bid. And in an example of “I’m not sure how seriously I should take this”, someone’s Google Doc has WSU in as a 6-seed, while this forecast has the Cougs seeded seventh.

On Sunday, we’re big fans of Ivy League top seed Princeton, which takes on Yale. The other conference finals, particularly Atlantic 10 and AAC, will see their top seeds in the tournament regardless of Sunday’s results.

UPDATE: Princeton lost. Super f***ing duper.

After the women’s selection show concludes on ESPN, head on over to soon-to-be extinct ESPNU at 6 p.m. to see which 32 teams will make up the NIT field.

The Kamie Ethridge effect: In just four seasons, Washington State women's basketball has taken on the personality of its coach | The Spokesman-Review
On Sunday, the Cougars will learn if their 19-10 record and second-place finish in the Pac-12 is enough to earn a second straight NCAA Tournament berth.

For Gonzaga and Washington State women, possible NCAA destinations are just a guessing game | The Spokesman-Review
The Zags and Cougars could end up anywhere from Tennessee to Michigan to Louisiana, though history suggests they’ll probably play a first-round game in Iowa.

Baseball

After a pretty decent start to the season, reality has hit Cougar Baseball, in the form of a couple slaps from Benny Beaver’s tail. Although it wasn’t as ugly as Friday’s pounding, the Cougs still struggled mightily in game two, mustering one measly second inning run in a 5-1 loss, which evens WSU’s record at 7-7. You can tune in to see if the Cougars are able to salvage at least on game in the series via WSU’s live stream. Or heck, you can head on out to Bailey-Brayton and catch the action in person! First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., with blustery temps in the mid-40s and winds pushing 20 mph. Enjoy!

Taylor Impressive But Cougars Fall to No. 4 Oregon State - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State played No. 4 Oregon State to a one-run game until OSU pulled away late for a 5-1 win in front 1,468 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon.

Football

Pac-12 Football: Spring 2022 Power Rankings - AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews
After giving up 6.7 yards per play in ’20, the Cougars cut that total to 5.6.

Pac-12 Football: 10 Most Intriguing Non-Conference Games of 2022 - AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews
In 2022, Pac-12 teams face a variety of strong opponents from around the country. The league's most intriguing games include showdowns against the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and even the FCS.

This Week in Parenting

Just when we thought we were getting a sports breather, Saturday was a splash of cold water to the face. First, the 10 year-old had his final basketball game of the season, in which the Mighty Wolverines put the smack down on the team in white jerseys by a final score of 21-9. Not only did the kiddo score a basket, his Santa Claus/rubber duck-themed sock selection clearly played a decisive role in this game.

The Mighty Wolverines finished with a solid 4-2 record, and now the basketball shoes officially transition to their role as play shoes.

No rest for the weary, as we then piled into the car and drove an hour and 45 minutes northeast to watch the 13 year-old face a German baseball team in a “friendly.” When we did this in the fall, Mrs. Kendall and I about froze our behinds off while watching our team get boatraced. This time was different, as the Outlaws carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the 7th. (When I asked pregame how long this thing was supposed to last, I was told either two hours or six innings, whichever came second). Naturally, none of that turned out to be true.

Back to the bottom of the 7th, where the home team rallied for two runs to tie the game at 4. Once the inning ended, the coaches decided to leave it up to the players as to whether they’d continue. Knowing that it was getting darker and colder, that I was facing another 1+45 on the road and oh yeah the Iowa game was starting soon, I wanted to get the hell out of there. I yelled from the bleachers, “Don’t let the kids decide. They’ll play all night!” While I knew every parent was on my side, the players’ decision carried the day.

So there we sat, watching more baseball as the sun faded while someone nearby decided to burn a bunch of brush, which engulfed the field in smoke. Thankfully, our Outlaws pushed four runs across in the top of the 8th (overcoming two umpires who somehow don’t know what the infield fly rule is), and we were able to get on the road. But thankfully next weekend is pretty calm. Oh wait, there are FOUR baseball games, all out of town, over Saturday and Sunday. The most positive development is that they sell beer at German youth league baseball, and even though it was crappy German pilsner, it did help a bit.

Non-Sports

The Losses and Gains of the World’s Most Influential Stunt Dieter
Trainer Drew Manning, founder of Fit2Fat2Fit, repeated his original weight gaining and shredding stunt at age 40. Is this how any of us should be thinking about weight loss?

Does My Son Know You? - The Ringer
Fatherhood, cancer, and what matters most.