With the real first round of the NCAA tournament on tap tomorrow, now seems like a good time to again remind you there is still time to join our TNT Bracket Challenge. The winner receives a $50 gift card to a restaurant of his or hers choosing. It is free to enter. So enter.
— The inevitable became reality yesterday, as Washington State fired Ken Bone after five seasons as coach. John Blanchette of the Spokesman-Review posits that WSU should open its wallet wide for whoever it decides to hire.
“To get the best fit and the right person, we’ll have to spend some money,” (WSU athletic director Bill Moos) said. “I remember the old saying, ‘Don’t step over the dollars to get to the nickels.’ All we’re seeing right now is nickels.”
Never mind that he’s admitted that even during its best years, WSU basketball barely makes it into the black, much less helping football pay for more oars, javelins and branding. Students can make Friel Court a madhouse if they’re inclined to pack the joint, but they don’t pay the bills – and there’s a $10 million deficit puddle accumulating in Moos’ department.
But then, throwing more money at a problem is the only solution college athletics has ever embraced. Even if it’s money you don’t have.
— Former UW guard Isaiah Thomas recorded his first career triple-double for the Sacramento Kings last night. He had 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
— Arizona State was put in an early hole this conference season thanks to poor shooting.
— Bruce Pascoe has some good notes on Arizona.
— Stanford will have its hands full with a first-round game against New Mexico.
— UCLA is more concerned with how it will play this week than it is with earning a No. 4 seed.
— You’re not going to believe this, but Oregon unveiled new shoes for its NCAA tournament game(s).
— ESPN.com debates Chris Petersen vs. Steve Sarkisian — or at least debates the results of a recent poll.
— Jerry Brewer writes that this is a bittersweet NCAA tournament for local fans.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple