What they're saying, 3/5

WITHOUT QUESTION it <I>would have been</I> the greatest Washington State basketball victory of all time. But as the hardwood gods deemed it wasn't to be, last night's heartbreaking 63-61 last second loss to No. 1 ranked Stanford was merely one helluva donnybrook between the Pac-10's finest and a long dormant program definitely on the rise.

Relive the valiant Cougar effort with these notable quotes from various eyewitnesses:

"Just another unforgettable night on the road to perfection. . . .Trailing by five points with less than 20 seconds left, Stanford was done. Not Oregon done. Not Arizona done. Done done. And then, improbably, amazingly -- miraculously? -- it wasn't." Jon Wilner, (San Jose) Mercury News

"Stanford guarded superbly and Marcus Moore, who'd taken a couple steps along the baseline, turned to Sorenson and asked for timeout. Except that Sorenson waited a beat, then blew his whistle and held up five fingers, having apparently counted that far by twos. Stanford ball. In the crowd, former Cougar quarterback Ryan Leaf -- the closest Wazzu could come to a Tiger Woods-type celebrity -- sympathized. He knows what it's like to get shorted two seconds." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"Even though we won the game, in many respects I thought Washington State deserved to win it." Stanford coach Mike Montgomery

"But Thursday night in the cold and wintery Palouse, a shocking storm erupted inside Beaseley Coliseum that sent more than 8,000 fans scurrying out into the elements. In the most mind-numbing chain of end-game events yet in this unparalleled season of splendor and surprise, Stanford ripped off a new superlative in incomparable conclusions." Mike Eubanks, The Bootleg.com

"Lost in that particularly painful brand of heartache only a desperation buzzer-beater can inject is this: A Cougar Nation was reminded what a magical place Friel Court can be. I could've sworn it was 1983 tonight." Greg Witter, Cougfan.com

"Stanford -- ranked No. 1 and undefeated in 25 games and destined for wealth, happiness and perfect lives with championship wives – escaped from Friel Court on Thursday night with victories 26, 27 and 28 over Washington State, probability and justice, pretty much in that order. And that would be referee Brian Sorensen and his pals Andy Rios and Terry Christman taking turns behind the wheel of the Cardinal getaway car." John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review

"Washington State led 61-56 with less than a minute to go. Then: The four-point play: Dan Grunfeld made a three-pointer and was fouled. He sank the free throw, cutting the lead to 61-60 with 17.4 seconds left. Inbound traffic: The Cougars failed to inbound within five seconds; Stanford's ball. Mad scramble: Stanford lost the ball and players went diving. Matt Lottich recovered for the Cardinal and passed to Nick Robinson. The winner: Robinson got the ball back to Lottich, who launched a three-pointer that beat the buzzer for a 63-61 win." (San Jose) Mercury News

"The final two minutes seemed to last an eternity as Washington State tried to spring perhaps the biggest men's basketball upset in school history. In the end, it merely lasted a couple of seconds too long for the Cougars." Jim Meehan, Spokesman-Review

"But Bennett felt the referees failed to see Marcus Moore calling a timeout when he couldn't inbound the ball in the closing seconds, resulting in a turnover that set the stage for Lottich. ‘They blew it,' Bennett said of the officials." Nicholas K. Geranios, The Associated Press

"It is difficult to define this game, which justly pushed Stanford closer to the brink of defeat than any other game this year. Still, the contest concluded with a shocking string of improbable events, both lucky and lamentable. Matt Lottich's buzzer beater heave to turn a one-point loss into a 63-61 win is something to treasure. A rollercoater ride so wild, this contest could have only played out in the Palouse..." Mike Eubanks, The Bootleg.com

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