Sun., March 13, 2011
WSU awaits its fate today
The calendar may not say it is spring just yet, but moving the clocks forward last night was the first clue time is marching on. And then getting up this morning to birds chirping, sun shining and the big old pile of snow out front disappearing made it clear spring is here. In spirit if not name. Another clue? The Pac-10 basketball tournament is over. Read on.
• Washington State: We'll find out tonight at 6 who the Cougars will play in the NIT (unless, by some really strange, weird, odd occurrence, their name is called on the NCAA selection show), but after talking with Bill Moos on Friday, we pretty much know where the game will be. Moos was clear, as clear as the sky out my window, if WSU's seed allows it to host, it will host, whether the students are in town or not. So get ready to drive down from Spokane or across the state or from wherever on Tuesday or, more likely, Wednesday. ... There is no get-together or party planned for tonight, but, with the short turnaround time and no school tomorrow, Ken Bone tweeted the Cougars will "hit the practice floor after we find out what awaits." ... With Long Beach State losing the Big West title game to UCSB last night, my guess is the 49ers will be sent north to play the Cougars. Not only should it be a good game, it would also be former Gonzaga coach Dan Monson's return to the Inland Northwest, and that should help the gate some.
• Around the Pac-10: With time winding down in overtime – the first overtime championship game in Pac-10 Conference tournament history – and the score tied, the ball was in Isaiah Thomas' hands. And he knew what to do with it. Put it in the basket. Preferably as the horn sounded. So that's what the diminutive guard with the huge heart did. Final score: 77-75 and Washington is going dancing, carrying the tournament title with it. Just like last season. The next two biggest shots of the day, however, where buried by two guys who weren't playing last season, Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox, 3-pointers down the stretch to send the game to overtime. ... The Huskies will hear their name called this afternoon (maybe against Gonzaga?), as will Arizona and UCLA. According to Joe Lunardi and his bracket prognostication, so will USC and embattled coach Kevin O'Neill, though it will be for the play-in games Tuesday. ... The Cougars aren't the only team probably headed to the NIT. So is California. ... Oregon hopes to be in the CBI, a reward the Ducks might just have earned.
• That's all for this morning. We'll be back on here as soon as we find out the Cougars opponent and game site for this week. Until then ...