FROM PULLMAN — You have to admire the effort of guys like Marcus Capers and Ben Loewen last night, giving UCLA a heck of a game without Klay Thompson or Reggie Moore on the floor. Oh, sorry. Wrong narrative. Besides, last night's game ended in a win for the home team. Read on.
Yes, it's hard not to draw comparisons between last night's win and WSU's regular season finale against UCLA in 2011. After all, the Cougars were missing two starters last night, and had only two scholarship guards available. And not only did they battle with the Bruins — that 2011 team forced overtime before ultimately falling — but they did enough things right to avoid a late-game collapse and came away with their biggest win of the season. … A note on DaVonte Lacy: he has a torn meniscus in his right knee, and he'll have surgery on Friday. But it doesn't sound like the recovery process will be a terribly serious ordeal. Ken Bone said Lacy should only be out of commission for two to four weeks. Not enough time to make it back for the Pac-12 tournament, but he should be good to go for the offseason. … The win also means WSU has a much better shot at the No. 11 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, which would mean a first-day matchup against the No. 6 seed. The Cougars are tied in the win column with Utah and Oregon State, and own tiebreakers over each team — they beat Utah head to head and split with OSU. When teams split, the next tiebreaker is each teams' record against the first place team and on down the list until the tie is broken. Well, WSU's win over UCLA gives the Cougars the trump card there. Utah and OSU play each other tonight, meaning one of those teams will have four wins, and the other will have three with a tough game left for their finale (Utah hosts Oregon and OSU plays at Colorado). So regardless of who wins between Utah and OSU tomorrow, if both of those teams lose their finale (which is the likely scenario), WSU will come away with no worse than the No. 11 seed. … In today's newspaper, we have our game story from last night, and on the blog we have our usual tale of the tape and a post with some additional quotes. … Howie Stalwick has this story in the Kitsap Sun. … Here's the story from the L.A. Times. … We also wrote about football last night after attending Eastern Washington's Pro Day, where we spoke with Marquess Wilson about his pro day dilemma and wrote this story. CougCenter wants to know what you think of it all.
Around the Pac-12 … There were two other games last night. One of them involved a fight. That was Stanford's 83-70 upset win over California, a game that all but ends the Bears' Pac-12 title hopes. … Washington won its third game in a row, topping USC 65-67 late, late last night. … There are two more games tonight. Oregon can lock up at least a share of the Pac-12 title by beating Colorado (6 p.m., ESPN2). … And, as mentioned above, OSU visits Salt Lake City for a game at Utah (6 p.m., ESPNU). The Utes hope to play better defense. … Arizona State's freshman point guard wants to beat Arizona and leave a legacy. … Arizona's seniors know there is plenty of work left to do.
That's all for now. We'll be out at WSU's pro day later this morning and will have a story in tomorrow's newspaper about it.