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March 8, 2009
"I lost my head and acted like a raving lunatic [because] I thought, in this kind of game, where we're fighting for our post-season lives, I think it's owed to us to have the right kind of call made in this kind of setting."
- Wazzu head men's hoop coach Tony Bennett on the fourth foul which put freshman Klay Thompson on the bench in the Apple Cup men's hoop game.
"More power to them. The last three years, they didn't talk about our conference titles, they talked about our Final Four appearances."
- UCLA guard Darren Collison upon learning that the Huskies had wrapped up the outright Pac-10 conference title with a win over the Cougars but neglecting to say who the mysterious "they" were.
"This team has gotten better in the second half of the season."
- Oregon head coach Ernie Kent after the Ducks' regular season-ending 26-point loss to the Bruins. Wazzu plays the much-improved Ducks in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament on Wednesday.
"People don't really think when they're buying milk. They just reach for the blue, green or red top."
- Sam Heath, creative director at advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy. The Lounge has news for ya, Sam - people frequently don't think at all, and it's not just about milk - just look at Rihanna, Octo-Mom and at least half the population of Florida! We're red tops here in the Lounge - that's what goes best with the Kahlua.
Mayhem was in the Lounge's house last week. It was Apple Cup week, of course, and that seems appropriate. Whenever the Cougars and Huskies tangle in anything, there is bound to be some mayhem. The women's hoop Apple Cup game started the weekend's festivities and with a combination of $1 admission and a free semester's tuition on the line as enticements for the students and hoi polloi alike, it was bound to be a large crowd. But this was even larger than expected. Not only was the crowd the largest of the season, it was the largest of 17 seasons when the Washington Huskies have made the trip to Pullman. 1,926 people made their way to Beasley Coliseum and while the Cougars did not come away from the game as winners over the last-place Huskies, one student did come away as a winner. A Chinese exchange student was one of the 1,926 horde and as a reward for being a part of the horde, won a semester of free tuition. You can't beat that with a stick, well, unless you are from China, where they can beat you with a stick if they damn well feel like it.
Now Taiwan, that is where you want to go to win a drawing for something free - because there, they give out tropical islands! Not one of those mosquito-infested tropical islands either - but one with white sand beaches, turquoise waters and electricity!
Meanwhile, March Madness has not officially begun yet here in America, but it might as well have already started. There is only one week left of pre-Madness madness and already we have seen multiple buzzer beaters including Alabama's game-winner over Tennessee that was immersed in extra drama. But expect to begin seeing some new videos - 18 in all - that will be rolled out this week on various media channels to officially start the hype for the Big Dance. The videos will be two minutes long and entitled "2009 Road to the Final Four" and will feature classic past-Big Dance moments including a youthful Michael Jordan at North Carolina as well as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird going out it in that classic Michigan State-Indiana State tilt.
Last week, we mentioned that Microsoft would have better picture quality for the NCAA's March Madness On Demand video-streaming service this year and - voila! - the MMOD has sold out their advertising slots for over $30 million in revenues [so we guess that picture quality better be damn good with people spending that kind of coin in this economy].
"The problem is that their shots were hitting the rim and not going in - that is unacceptable," observes Anne Droid, of the Cougars' 37% field goal shooting percentage against the Huskies in the Apple Cup men's hoop game over the weekend.
Yes, Anne, that was, undeniably, one of the problems the Cougars had in their game against the Huskies last week Rochestie did not turn it on the afterburners until the second half and Thompson was never able to get his engine fully started. Evidently, that was due to another of the problems - the officiating. Bennett was fuming about the zebras when they took Thompson out of the game with his fourth foul but seemingly were content to allow Aron Baynes to get scratched, clawed [see photographic evidence above] and mugged all day long in the paint. Whereas these fouls were not called [the Lounge was unaware of the NCAA rule change this year allowing a defending player to dig no more than two fingernails into an opponent's back], Thompson was neutralized with a ticky-tack call while Overton could continue his Oscar performances. The Lounge clientele did not reach a consensus that this was a reason the Cougars lost the game, but it certainly played a part in what ended up being a seven-point game and Thompson only wound up scoring nine points. Still, the Huskies are playing well this year and won the Pac-10, fair and square. Well, square, anyway.
"What's this mean for the post-season?" ponders A Demented Fictional Character above the din.
Well, the NIT is unaffected - that is still there for the Cougars - but the road to the Big Dance has now been reduced to a one-way street. Wazzu must run the Pac-10 conference tournament table in order to make that happen. However, since the NCAA selection committee is notoriously unapologetic in their disdain for predictability, anything can happen, and that includes Wazzu winning three games at the conference tournament and failing in the finals but still getting an NCAA bid. The RPI would probably be in the 60s or 70s but that would put the Cougars at 19-15 with a 6-2 record in their last eight games - the kind of finishing kick the NCAA likes to see. Although that is a long shot, nothing is ever out of the realm of possibility when an NCAA selection committee is involved.
Hey Cougar fans and well-wishers, you need to work off some of your steam from the Apple Cup game? Go to Mediocre Films and buy some Baggies! Either that or sell some shoes for $100. Don't worry, someone will come along and buy them.
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists have solved the mystery of what happened to all of Jupiter's moons. What? You mean you were not losing sleep at nights wondering what happened to Jupiter's moons? Well, the scientists were losing their sleep for you. Turns out, Jupiter ate 'em. Jupiter used to have upwards of 20 moons orbiting around the massive gas giant but over time, the moons have been pulled down by th eplanet's powerful gravitational force and eventually spiraled down into the Jovian vortex. That is not the only place where they think the moon buffet has occurred.
"We think something similar happened around Saturn," says Lounge Scientist #20, Robin Canup, a researcher at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, who reportedly likes moon pies.
Ways to increase attendance at this week's Pac-10 conference tournament? Offer a free Jupiter moon in a lottery.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Winter is here and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for nine consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small hot chocolate.
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