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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Last Monday of the season


FROM PULLMAN -- Some more snow tonight, but the Honda managed to make it all the way to my apartment building last night, so all is well. We have a couple Pac-12 games to recap on our last Monday of the regular season, so read on.


Sunday games are never fun when your team is playing -- waiting that extra day can be torture -- but it's great for those of us who can't watch any of the Saturday games. So I was glad to be home and able to watch Colorado vs. California, as well as Oregon at Oregon State. The latter was far more entertaining, from a pure emotional standpoint -- it was intense, chippy and went down to the wire. OSU coach Craig Robinson wasn't pleased with the officiating afterward -- particularly the fact that Jared Cunningham doesn't get enough calls, and that the officials went after one of OSU's radio announcers for (and I'm making an assumption here) saying something he perhaps shouldn't have -- and you can watch video of his comments here. He might hear from the Pac-12 office on this one. ... Not much WSU news today, as is the norm on Monday mornings. The baseball team tried to play a doubleheader against Nebraska-Omaha, but it is hard to play baseball in the snow, so they suspended the first game in the bottom of the fifth inning and will attempt to get the games in today. ... I missed Bud Withers' column yesterday from Saturday's WSU-UW game.

As for yesterday's games ...

Colorado 70, California 57: The Bears' Pac-12 title hopes took a blow after a confounding weekend in the mountains -- first, Stanford obliterated Colorado. Then the Cardinal lost at Utah, and the Buffaloes controlled first-place Cal from start to finish. I don't get it. The only way the Bears can win the conference championship now is if Washington loses one of its last two games and Cal wins at Stanford this week.

Oregon 74, Oregon State 73: The Ducks kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive for another week. Even the return of Devon Collier from a gruesome-looking knee injury wasn't enough to help the Beavers. Garrett Sim led the Ducks with 25 points.

Of note ... Near as I can tell, the Cougars are assured of no worse than the No. 9 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, because they can't finish worse than in a tie with Oregon State and/or Arizona State, and they'd win tiebreakers over either of those teams (they swept OSU, and their win over California acts as a trump card over ASU, with whom the Cougars split). So go ahead and pencil WSU into the 8 vs. 9 game at noon on March 7. If WSU simply beats USC, it is assured of the No. 8 seed. If Oregon State and Arizona State both lose out, those teams will finish in a tie, which would give the No. 9 seed to ASU by virtue of its win over OSU earlier this season. It's also still possible for Utah to win two games and force a three-way tie for ninth place (this will happen if the Utes win out and OSU and ASU both lose out), though that is obviously very unlikely so I'm not going to bother breaking down all of those  possible scenarios. Right now, it's still looking like OSU will be WSU's first-round opponent -- the Beavers (5-11) face Utah and Colorado at home this week, and ASU (5-12) hosts Arizona -- but ASU has an outside chance to sneak into the 8 vs. 9 game, too.

Elsewhere ... Arizona plays well in close games. ... LaMichael James clocked a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. ... Vontaze Burfict says people have the wrong impression of him. ... Cliff Harris says he's learned his lesson about driving 118 miles per hour.

That's all for now.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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