FROM PULLMAN -- Washington State returns to the court later tonight. Way later tonight. The Cougars play Arizona State at 8 p.m., which, of course, is the start time that every sports writer dreams about. In our nightmares. Read on.
First, a note that we'll hold a live chat at 1 p.m. today. ... We took a bit of a different approach with our advance of the game in today's newspaper, examining some of the numbers behind WSU's eight "close-game" losses, the defintion of a "close game" being one in which WSU led at some point in the second half. We also have this short item in our area roundup and a short capsule previewing the weekend. ... We spoke for a while yesterday with former WSU football coach Paul Wulff, who is coaching with the 49ers in the Super Bowl, and wrote this story. ... ASU is emerging as a surprise contender for the Pac-12 title. ... A good story here about Steve Gleason and his fighting spirit. And another one here. ... Here's a preview of tonight's game from Howie Stalwick.
Around the Pac-12 ... Two games yesterday, and two surprises. USC started the party by beating UCLA, 75-71 in overtime, at Pauley Pavilion. ... Stanford was a 3-point favorite at home against shorthanded Oregon, but the Cardinal's 76-52 drubbing of the Ducks was still a pretty big shocker. ... Arizona visits Washington tonight (6 p.m., ESPN), and the Wildcats haven't had a lot of success in Seattle recently. This week could tell a lot about the Huskies. ... Oregon State is desperate to turn its season around as it plays at California tonight (7 p.m., ESPNU). ... An odd development in Utah as one of its players is taking an indefinite leave from the team. ... A Colorado player does a good job of inspiring his more talented teammates.
That's all for now. See you at 1 p.m.