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April 1, 1995, midnight
Washington State and Gonzaga open the home portion of their Pacific-10 Conference baseball seasons this afternoon in familiar places, but with unfamiliar expectations. WSU, which has won or shared the Northern Division title in 19 of the last 25 seasons, hopes to rebound from last year's fifth-place finish - its worst since 1969 - under new coach Steve Farrington.

March 30, 1995, midnight
It wasn't as if Barbara Bonace were blind-sided by the wave of eligibility certification problems that ultimately washed her out as Washington State's compliance and eligibility director. She saw the beginning of the swell the first day she stepped into the job five years ago.

March 29, 1995, midnight
The NCAA's hammer fell rather lightly on Washington State on Tuesday when the main governing body of college athletics extended the school's probation for two more years through June 20, 1997, and took away a couple of football scholarships the Cougars weren't using anyway. WSU's penalties, which also included a public reprimand and censure, along with orders to continue cleaning up its eligibility certification act, were handed down in connection with a series of NCAA rules violations that occurred between 1991 and 1994.

March 24, 1995, midnight
1. As Washington State's Carlos Daniel exits the court, Canisius players celebrate their trip to the NIT's Final Four. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review 2. Kevin Eastman can't believe his ears as a referee whistles a technical foul on WSU's Carlos Daniel. Photo by Associated Press 3. WSU's Issac (sic) Fontaine comes up short while attempting a steal. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review

March 24, 1995, midnight
The flight back to Spokane will probably be agonizingly long for Washington State's men's basketball team this morning - especially for the four seniors who ended their college careers Thursday night with a 89-80 loss to Canisius in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament. For Rob Corkrum, David Vik, Joey Warmenhoven and walk-on Matt Bortles, the long Eastern road trip will have to serve as an unsatisfying final chapter in their scrapbooks.

March 23, 1995, midnight
WSU meets Craig Wise (12) and Canisius. File/The Spokesman-Review

March 21, 1995, midnight
1. With the help of Mark Hendrickson (30), Washington State shows the right stuff to beat Illinois State in the National Invitation Tournament. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review 2. Carlos Daniel rejects Maurice Trotter and any notion of an Illinois State victory. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review

March 21, 1995, midnight
Beat the defender, drive to an open spot on the floor, pull up and bury the short jump shot. It was a simple plan, but one that had worked all night for Washington State's Isaac Fontaine.

March 20, 1995, midnight
Kevin Stallings seems to be giving mixed signals about the chances his Illinois State men's basketball team has against Washington State in tonight's second-round game of the National Invitation Tournament. "We're not the most imposing team athletically and we're not a great shooting team," Stallings said of his Redbirds (20-12), who confounded many experts by finishing in a tie for second place with Southern Illinois in the Missouri Valley Conference.

March 17, 1995, midnight
As a result of Wednesday night's 94-82 victory over Texas Tech in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, Washington State will be sent packing. The Cougars (17-11) learned late Thursday night that they will play their second-round game Monday, March 20, against Illinois State (20-12) in Normal, Ill. The time of the game has yet to be determined.

March 16, 1995, midnight
The last time Washington State played this late into the night, some weird things happened in the final minute and it ended up losing to Arizona in double overtime. That might explain the cloud of apprehension that hung so heavily over Friel Court Wednesday night as the Cougars tried to close the deal in the final seconds of their first-round National Invitation Tournament game against Texas Tech.

March 15, 1995, midnight
Jason Martin can't seem to get into this "homecoming" thing everyone keeps talking about. Texas Tech's starting point guard admits he is amused by the coincidental nature of the Red Raiders' first-round National Invitation Tournament travels, which have landed him back at Washington State - the very school he left last fall. But his thoughts, along with his prayers, are drifting nearly 1,200 miles south to Hacienda Heights, Calif., where his 26-year-old brother Todd is dying from throat cancer. And not even tonight's 9 o'clock showdown against his former Cougar teammates - let alone all of the trumped-up "homecoming" hype - can ease the grief he feels. "It's a difficult time," Martin, a 5-foot-10 junior, admitted Tuesday after flying from his brother's bedside to join his Texas Tech team for an early evening practice at Friel Court, the site of tonight's game. "Right now it's kind of hard, because this is a big game and whatever. But it doesn't mean anything as far as my family comes into play. "I really kind of wish I was back there (with Todd). But I prayed, and the Lord told me it was OK for me to come here and do this today. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for my brother." At 21, Martin is the youngest of seven children in his family. Todd, the closest in age of his three brothers, was diagnosed with cancer just a short time ago. His kidneys are failing and he is hooked up to a dialysis machine. Monday afternoon, Todd's heart quit beating. "He had a heart attack," Martin explained. "They had to revive him. He's still in bad shape right now." Martin flew home to be with his brother after Tech lost to Texas in Saturday's finals of the Southwest Conference Tournament. He learned of the NCAA's snub of the Red Raiders and their subsequent NIT berth when he arrived home. "I was surprised to be playing Washington State," Martin admitted, adding that he never, "not even in a million years," expected to see Pullman again. "You get to come back to

March 13, 1995, midnight
Not surprisingly, Washington State was left off the list of 64 invitees to the Big Dance when the NCAA announced its postseason tournament pairings Sunday. But what little disappointment there seemed to be among WSU players was swallowed up by the excitement of being selected to host a first-round game in the National Invitation Tournament.

March 12, 1995, midnight
Washington State players were still floating on a huge comeback high Saturday afternoon when they were asked to re-assess their postseason tournament chances following a unlikely 92-89 win over California. After finishing 10-8 in the Pacific-10 Conference and 16-11 overall, WSU probably will land in the National Invitation Tournament, perhaps as host of a firstround game.

March 8, 1995, midnight
The Pacific-10 Conference heads into the final week of its men's basketball schedule with league coaches still clamoring for respect - especially from the NCAA Tournament's selection committee. If they get it, some contend, the league could put as many as six in the Big Dance.

March 5, 1995, midnight
ASU's Mario Bennett, left, outrebounds WSU's Tavaras Mack, but had trouble offensively, scoring just 10 points. Photo by Associated Press

March 4, 1995, midnight
Mark Hendrickson, who scored 29 points, looks for basket under pressure from Arizona's Reggie Geary. Photo by Associated Press

March 2, 1995, midnight
With the start of spring practice nine days away, four members of Washington State's football team were suspended indefinitely Wednesday as a result of their involvement last weekend in a brawl outside a fraternity house. Cougars athletic director Rick Dickson announced the suspensions of interior offensive linemen Scott Sanderson, Ryan McShane and Marc McCloskey and tight end David Knuff, noting that none of the four will be allowed to participate in team activities unless they are reinstated.

March 1, 1995, midnight
Building a large, vocal and downright nasty following of Washington State fans was a top priority for Kelvin Sampson throughout his seven-year tenure as the Cougars' head coach. Now, less than a year after Sampson's departure to Oklahoma, it appears he succeeded.

March 1, 1995, midnight
The less-thanstoried history of the short-lived Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament takes up less than two pages in the league's 204-page media guide. It lasted only four years - from 1987 through 1990 - and failed to produce a single surprise berth in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA won the inaugural event and Arizona captured the next three before the league's presidents and chancellors jettisoned the tournament, claiming it put undue academic strain on the athletes involved.

Feb. 23, 1995, midnight
Southeast B Garfield-Palouse blew a 15-point third-quarter lead and survived what Coach Tim Coles called its worst performance of the season Wednesday night to slip past Asotin 49-47 in the second round of the Southeast District B Boys Basketball Tournament at Washington State's Friel Court. The win pushed the Vikings (21-2) into Friday night's championship game against the Dayton Bulldogs (23-1), who received 22 points and 17 rebounds from Will Hutchens in a 60-44 romp past Lacrosse-Washtucna in Wednesday's first winners bracket game.

Feb. 22, 1995, midnight
Washington State could have mailed in Tuesday night's men's basketball win over Seattle Pacific. To the selection committee of the National Invitation Tournament, at least.

Feb. 17, 1995, midnight
Life on the road has been a pain for Washington State all season. But Thursday night, the Cougars shook off the effects of some nightmarish travel problems and eased a bunch of frustrations by holding off Oregon State 94-85 in front of a disappointing crowd of 5,916 at Gill Coliseum.

Feb. 15, 1995, midnight
This is one of those wonderfully crucial stretches of the Pacific-10 Conference men's basketball race that many coaches try to downplay, their reasoning being that no one game is more important than the next in such a competitive league. But seldom does the Pac-10 schedule afford an opportunity for the title chase to define itself like it does over the next five days.

Feb. 12, 1995, midnight
Isaac Fountaine and the Cougars watched Tyus Edney and the Bruins steal the game out from under them. Photo by Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review