Feb. 27, 2007
THIS WEEK: The No. 13 Associated Press/ESPN/USA Today Washington State Cougars host No. 2/2 UCLA (March 1 at 7:30 p.m.) and No. 23/24 USC (March 3 at 4 p.m.)...UCLA game will be carried by FOX Sports Net...USC game will be on FSN Northwest and FSN Prime Ticket in California.
COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03...became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pacific-10 school in the post-World War II era.
ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins are 25-3 overall, 14-2 in the Pacific-10...ranked second in both Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls...have clinched a share of the Pac-10 regular season title and No. 1 seed in Pac-10 Tournament...have won four in a row...three starters average in double-figure scoring led by Arron Afflalo with 17.5 points per game....lead the Pac-10 in scoring margin (+ 13.4 points per game), field goal percentage (49.2) and steals (7.79).
SERIES WITH THE BRUINS: UCLA leads 90-13...Bruins have captured last five meetings and last 13 road games against WSU, including 11 in Pullman...UCLA squeaked by 55-52 in the season's first meeting, Dec. 28 at Pauley Pavilion...Bruins won despite shooting 32.7 percent from the field...Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo each scored 13 points to lead UCLA...Derrick Low tallied a game-high 14 points for Washington State.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (March 1): The Cougars are 14-18 when playing, March 1, including a 6-3 record on their home court...in 1980 George Raveling led WSU past Arizona 74-71 at Friel Court...Stuart House led all scorers with 35 points...WSU outplayed Arizona in almost every category...WSU had more assists (16-7), blocks (4-2), steals (8-5), rebounds (28-27), and fewer turnovers (8-12)...Don Collins added 19 points...this final win of the regular season helped the Cougars advance to the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history.
SHARE OF CONFERENCE TITLE STILL IN REACH: Washington State enters the week in second place in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 12-4 record...WSU is two games behind UCLA (14-2)...if the Cougars defeats the Bruins, Thursday and USC, Saturday, and Washington defeats UCLA, Saturday, the Cougars and Bruins share the Pac-10 regular season title...WSU's last conference title came in 1941 when the Cougars were in the Pacific Coast Conference.