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SportsCenter visits Hoopfest, Cougs crash the party

If there are ESPN cameras present, you know Ol' Crimson will be nearby.

ESPN visited one of the not-well-known-but-totally-freaking-awesome sporting celebrations in the country this weekend, broadcasting SportsCenter live Sunday morning from Spokane's Hoopfest as part of a summer tour.

The network was hoping for a College GameDay-like atmosphere at the set, and, well ... WSU fans were all too happy to oblige (sorry lonely Gonzaga bro):

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">#ESPN</a> <a href="">@SportsCenter</a> now live from <a href="">@SpokaneHoopfest</a> w/ <a href="">@jaymee</a> <a href="">@MattBarrieESPN</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Andy Hall (@AndyHallESPN) <a href="">June 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Part of what makes this even more fun is that one of the SportsCenter hosts, Jaymee Sire, is a Coug herself:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WOW. <a href="">@Cougar_Cruiser</a> Hooked. It. Up. So excited to decorate my cube at work. Especially appreciate the red solo cup. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Jaymee Sire (@jaymee) <a href="">June 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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With more than 200,000 people and 7,000 teams hanging out around downtown Spokane, WSU used the opportunity to promote the brand.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Come see us at Hoopfest! We&#39;re at WSU Connections downtown! <a href="">#GoCougs</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; WSUCougFootball (@wsucougfb) <a href="">June 27, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Crimson Girls at Nike Center Court! <a href="">#GoCougs</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; WSU Cougars (@WSUCougars) <a href="">June 27, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Air conditioning? A great game on TV? Thanks, WSU Connections:

AC, comfy chairs and a pretty awesome game replay on Pac-12 Networks. Doing #hoopfest right. #GoCougs

A photo posted by WSU Cougars (@wsucougars_com) on

There also were at least a few former WSU players participating in the tournament:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Look who showed up to <a href="">@SpokaneHoopfest</a>!! <a href="">@brockm12</a> <a href="">@patty_ice44</a> <a href="">@KeatonHayenga</a> <a href="">#TheSquad</a> <a href="">#GoCougs</a> <a href="">#Hoopfest2015</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; ZZU CRU (@ZZUCRU) <a href="">June 27, 2015</a></blockquote>

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It doesn't appear Brock Motum played in the tournament, but Patrick Simon and Keaton Hayenga did; Simon's team, Totalfit Spokane, finished third in the Elite Division #2 tournament, while Hayenga's team, Doughy Torsos (which also included Charlie Enquist), lost its first game before coming back through the loser's bracket to take fourth in the Elite Division #1 tournament.

I've never been to Hoopfest, but it's on my bucket list. It's completely and totally awesome to see this event -- and WSU -- get some national recognition.