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Cougar Women look to author another historic chapter

Pretty big Sunday on deck!

NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Semifinals Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, and welcome to the biggest day in the history of the Washington State Cougars women’s basketball program. The red hot Cougs sit 40 minutes away from the first Pac-12 Conference Tournament title in team history. I can’t believe I just wrote that! Can you imagine reading that sentence three years ago? Heck, even three weeks ago?


After a weekend sweep at the hands of the mountain schools, including a 14-point loss at Utah, WSU headed home to face the Oregon schools with a 6-8 Pac-12 record. The Cougs picked up a win, then two, then three, and probably should have finished the season on a four-game winning streak, but for a fourth quarter collapse at USC. All that would follow was an incredible three game run.

The most impressive part of WSU’s tournament heater isn’t necessarily that it’s won three in a row. To me, what is truly stunning is the fact that none of the games has even come down to the wire. Sandwiched between a three-score margin over Utah were identical 12-point wins over Cal and Colorado. In other words, this isn’t anything close to a fluke. WSU has been the better team every time out this weekend. And these last two resounding wins over Utah and Colorado come after a season in which those two schools went 4-0 against the Cougs. That is some incredible scouting and game plan adjustment.

On the player side, the team’s ability to take a punch and keep its feet is amazing. Seems like there’s been a five-minute stretch every game where the Cougs hit a wall and the opponent takes advantage. Every time, WSU has regained its composure and slammed the door. What I’m saying is Pat Chun needs to let Kamie Etheridge name her price, while Mayor Johnson hands her and the rest of the roster keys to the city.

In the big picture, WSU now stands at #33 in the NET rankings, and a win over UCLA (#21) would give it three straight victories against the Top 25. As for Charlie Creme’s kinda dubious-but-that’s-all we-got women’s bracketology, WSU currently sits at a the #7 seed. A win Sunday will almost certainly - or at least it should! - elevate WSU up the seeding by a line or two.

Now, the UCLA Bruins (YES UCLA AND NOT STANFORD THANK GOD) stand between WSU and the trophy. The Cougs and Bruins split the season series, with each team winning on the other’s home court. The game will take place in Las Vegas, with a tip time scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PST, and for the first time all season a WSU women’s game will be broadcast on something other than a web stream or Pac-12 Networks. This one is on ESPN2. An actual TV channel!


Men’s Basketball

Let’s run Thursday night back for just a little longer.

Just a couple notes here.

  • It’s never a bad idea to start the video with Yukon Jack Wilson getting off the bus.
  • There will never be enough angles of the Mo Gueye posterization of that poor UW player.
  • While reacting to that Gueye assault, poor Jabe Mullins looks like he just witnessed a mass execution. But to be fair he kinda did.

As far as on-court happenings, this weekend has been a decidedly mixed bag. On the good news front, the two results WSU needed to lock in the Pac-12 Tournament’s #5 seed both came to fruition. First, Colorado defeated Utah in the afternoon. Then, USC came through in the nightcap with a narrow win over Arizona State. As a result, the Cougs will face the lsat place Cal Bears on Wednesday, as prohibitive favorites. Tip time is scheduled for...2:30 p.m. PST? I’ll take it! If WSU prevails, it will take on the 4th-seeded Oregon Ducks at the same time on Thursday.

Here’s the full bracket:

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Pac-12 without some initial buffoonery.

On the less-than-optimal news front, mid-major conference tournaments are well underway, and early results aren’t doing WSU’s NIT at-large hopes any favors. A lot of mid-major conferences are one bid leagues, meaning the only NCAA Tournament spot they’ll get is the conference tournament champion. If the regular season champ loses, it gets an automatic bid to the NIT, provided it does not make the NCAA’s 68-team field. So it helps teams like WSU if the top seeds win their conference tourneys, and the regular season champs are not cooperating!

Top seeds Southern Miss (Sun Belt), Morehead State (Ohio Valley) have already lost, and Bradley (MVC) is going to lose. So that’s three possible at-large bids erased for WSU. Needless to say, it would behoove the Cougs to keep winning!

Oh, and if you’re one of those people who says, “hurrrrr the NCAA Tournament should pick all the best teams and leave out the teams from smaller lower conferences durrrrrr”

The NCAA Tournament is the world’s greatest event partly because, at the start of every season, every team has a chance to make it. So stop it with your preference of some middling large conference slappy going to The Dance instead of a small conference champ.


The hot streak continues!

Speaking of “hot”, the Cougs need all of your warm vibes to take the field Sunday!

Hey coach Green, I have a decent-sized side yard if y’all need a place to play, and it’s 76 and sunny today.

This Week in Parenting

This week brought the start of track and field season for the high schooler, as the mighty Dolphins held some sort of semi-track meet against another local school. I was told the proceedings would begin at 4 p.m., and I was dumb enough to show up at the appointed hour. I mean, the meet did begin at 4, it’s just that my burgeoning freshman javelin thrower was nowhere near beginning his event at that time.

First, the girls got to go, after warmups, of course. After what seemed like six hours, it was the boys’ turn. And of course there weren’t five kids. Not 10 kids. Not even 15 kids. THERE WERE 16 KIDS, ALL WHO GOT ONE WARMUP THROW AND THREE ADDITIONAL THROWS. Naturally, the javelin throwers were still at it after everyone else’s events concluded. Hell, it was practically dark by the time we got out of there. in a pleasant surprise, the kiddo finished in the middle of the pack despite never having picked up a javelin until a couple weeks ago. I’ll take it!

In search of some weekend entertainment, the family took advantage of the Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Tournament’s presence in the local area on Saturday. Tickets were only $5 for military folks, so I thought it would be a fun time, cost analysis-wise. As soon as we sat down to watch Marshall take on Texas State, the 11 year-old immediately (and without prompting) attacked the gambling angle. “Hey dad, what’s the over/under on this game?” I checked my phone, and told him that it was 146.5. “Hmm, I’ll take the under.”

I then told him that Marshall was laying 7.5, and he took the favorites. I decided to take both opposite sides to make things interesting, and he was living and dying with every basket, screaming “in your face!” when Marshall made a good play, even though we had no stakes on it. In the end, we split. I missed on the total, but Texas State won outright, 71-68, as Marshall rimmed out a three-pointer at the horn. I was praying for overtime to get my total home, but it was not to be.

Parenting tip: if you want your kids to stay engaged in a sporting event, have them pick gambling sides! It may not work for teenagers, as mine was too busy sending selfies to his friends to notice that there was a game going on in front of him. He wasn’t even interested when I suggested that he go down to a floor seat near the Texas State pom squad. He’ll get there, maybe.


Everything is totally normal down here in Florida. Nothing resembling totalitarianism. Nope. Move along.

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