What They're Saying: Double OT edition

THE COLORFUL PROSE was flowing Saturday following the March classic waged by Washington State and Vanderbilt. The see-saw thriller took two overtime periods to settle, prompting an outpouring of colorful commentary by those who watched it and those who participated in it. From New York to Nashville, Bennett to Byars, SI to S-R, here's what they're saying ...

The game included all the requisite material — inspired comebacks, last-gasp shots, game-changing blocks and multiple overtimes. The Commodores did not beat the Washington State Cougars so much as they outlasted them at Arco Arena, 78-74 in two overtimes.
Lee Jenkins, New York Times

Forward Daven Harmeling missed a jumper from the corner, his favorite spot, at the end of regulation that would have won it for Washington State. He seemed so surprised that he missed it that he walked over to the bench with a dazed look on his face, walking past teammates who reached over to slap his hand as if he didn't even see them.
Phil Taylor, SI.com

Suddenly, Washington State wasn't Washington State anymore. Savvy, irrepressible and resilient all season, the Cougars morphed into something else here in the late stages against Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAA tournament. With victory, and the Sweet 16, just a basket away a couple of times, WSU was ultimately forced to accept an excruciating 78-74 double-overtime loss to the Commodores that ends a dream ride.
Bud Withers, Seattle Times

The Cougars and Commodores' first-ever matchup was filled with the dramatic lead changes, tense theatrics and extraordinary performances expected in the best March games -– all the way into extra time.
Greg Beacham, Associated Press

That was one of the best college basketball games I've ever been involved in. And as happy as I am for our team, my heart goes out to Tony Bennett and the Washington State players, because neither team deserved to lose that game.
Kevin Stallings, Vandy head coach

After that game, our guys understand the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. In time, it will hurt less. It was truly a hard-fought game. The first half was one of our best of the season. It stings right now, but what an experience this tournament has been. It was special to taste this (the NCAAs) and experience it. The experience is golden.
Tony Bennett, WSU head coach

Washington State's dreams of a Sweet 16 turned into the bitter reality of March Madness heartbreak ... It was an unforgettable end to an unforgettable season for a Cougars team that had been picked to finish last in the Pac-10 Conference only to turn in one of the greatest seasons in school history.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

It's too bad either team had to lose -- but why the hell did it have to be our guys? They played too hard to have it end like this.
Cougar fan at The Village Pub in Seattle

A reserve center named Ted Skuchas was the difference, scoring the Commodores' first four points of the second extra session, his rebound follow-up shot with 3:27 putting his team ahead for good. Those were the only points he scored in the game.
Dan Raley, Seattle P-I

The Washington State Cougars built their most successful season ever on defense and taking care of the ball. Saturday in the second round of the NCAA tournament at the Arco Arena, both let them down in the second overtime.
Vince Grippi, Spokesman-Review

I'm crying over this loss, but I'm fuming over CBS for cutting to the Pitt-VCU game while the Cougs and Vanderbilt were going down to the wire in the first overtime. That's got to be the biggest error in judgment in an NCAA tourneygame since Chris Webber called timeout when his team didn't have any left."
J.V. Holland, Cougfan.com

The Cougars' dream season has ended.
Brandon Meachum, The Daily Evergreen

For about 28 minutes today, Vanderbilt's prospects for continuing its NCAA Tournament run didn't look so sweet. But Derrick Byars sparked a second-half spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers, and the Commodores survived a pair of overtime periods to knock off No. 3 seed Washington State.
Maurice Patton, The Nashville Tennessean

Washington State and Vanderbilt had never met on the basketball court until Saturday's East Regional second-round game at Arco Arena. The schools need to schedule a rematch.
Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

It was classic. Instant classic.
Derrick Byars, Vandy MVP

I was trying to do a lot of things on both ends of the court and chasing Byars around was tough.
Kyle Weaver, Cougar swingman who played 48 minutes against Vandy

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