The top-seeded Gonzaga men's basketball team will face No. 9 Santa Clara in the quarterfinals Saturday at 6 at Orleans Arena.
The Broncos (14-18) thumped No. 8 Pacific 81-64 late Thursday night. Guards Jared Brownridge (20 points), Evan Roquemore (17) and Brandon Clark (15) led the way with a combined 52 points. Gonzaga swept Santa Clara during the regular season, winning 54-52 on Sam Dower Jr.'s 3-pointer in the closing seconds in Santa Clara and 74-60 in Spokane.
The No. 1-seeded GU women will take on San Francisco on Friday at 6 p.m. The eighth-seeded Dons (12-18) upended No. 9 Loyola Marymount 63-62 on Thursday on Taj Winston's layup with one second remaining. Gonzaga swept USF during the regular season.
It looked like Idaho might absorb another excruciating loss after going up big on Chicago State. This time, though, it was the Vandals who made the winning plays in the closing seconds — on the road, no less.
Connor Hill carried Idaho in the first half and buried the game-clinching free throws with 6 seconds left in the Vandals' 79-76 win at Chicago State on Thursday night. UI nearly let a 17-point lead disappear, but the Cougars missed four straight foul shots and threw the ball away with 11 seconds left to help Idaho escape.
From Pullman — Deone Bucannon was at today's Washington State basketball game against USC to accept the CFPA Elite Defensive Back trophy at halftime. Before the game he spoke with the media to talk about his preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, his performance at the recent NFL Combine and the award.
S-R photojournalists Dan Pelle, Jesse Tinsley and Colin Mulvany are covering the action at the State B's. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
From Pullman — On Thursday the National Football Foundation released a list of 81 candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame. Former Washington State running back Clarence “Clancy” Williams was among those nominated.
More after the jump.
I believe it was Bill Murray who best described post-season basketball: “OK, I guess we're playing for keeps now.”
OK, I might be taking his line a tad out of context, but it's too late to type another intro. Gonzaga's men and women — I take on double duty at the WCC tournaments — move into their respective tournaments as the top seeds, awaiting Thursday's outcomes before learning their first-round assignments. Gonzaga's women open Friday, the men Saturday.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Isn't it just like Spokane? I commit to spending most of the next three days indoors at the State 2B basketball tournament and the weather turns nice. Highs in the high 40s and low 50s and sunshine, at least Friday and Saturday. The perfect time to step outside for a long walk after the interminable 30-degree days (and lower) of winter. But basketball is basketball. Read on.
The Idaho men's basketball team finishes the regular season with two games against beatable opponents — Chicago State and MIssouri-Kansas City. The problem for the Vandals? Both games are on the road.
It's almost been two full months since the Vandals last won away from Moscow, and they've won a total of three road games all season. After the jump, we take a look at what's gone wrong for Idaho (12-17, 5-9) on the road ahead of tonight's game at Chicago State and overall the last two seasons under Don Verlin. Read on.
From Pullman — The vocal majority that despises a proposed NCAA football rule change that would give defenses 10 seconds to substitute got welcome news yesterday. The proposal has been tabled, effectively cast off into a sea of bureaucracy and red tape from which it will never emerge … Today the Washington State basketball team will do battle with USC in a titanic matchup (“Titanic” referring to the ship, not the forebears of the Greek Pantheon). We've got our Four Corners preview of the game and a local college basketball notebook … Former WSU football player Steve Broussard has been hired at SMU.
Wednesday night's 3-1 loss at Kelowna leaves the Spokane Chiefs with six games on their regular-season schedule: two against Prince George and Tri-City, and one apiece against Seattle and Everett. Spokane is one point ahead of Everett in the chase for the Western Conference's No. 5 seed to the playoffs. Read story
The Kelowna Rockets continue to hold down the top spot in the Canadian Hockey League's Top 10 rankings. The Rockets will meet the Spokane Chiefs in four hours to complete their season series. Spokane is 2-1 against Kelowna this season. Read story
More teams have qualified for the Western Hockey League playoffs as the regular season winds down to its final 12 days. Read story
Kootenay Ice player Tim Bozon is hospitalized in Saskatoon with Neisseria meningitis. Read story
From Pullman — The chances of USC winning at Washington or Washington State upsetting UCLA on Saturday are remote at best. Therefore tomorrow's matchup between USC (10-19, 1-15 Pac-12) and WSU (9-19, 2-14) will likely decide the 11th and 12th place conference spots. WSU is favored by 5 ½ points in Vegas.
In a twist, the loser of the game will play at 2:30 against the conference's No. 5 seed while the winner will play the No. 6 seed at 8:30 p.m. (but really more like 9 p.m.).
More after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Coaching kids is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you might get. Case in point: I asked a group of high school-bound athletes the other day if they had any questions. “You have any pet peeves?” one kid asked. Yes I do. I named one. And as the practice wore on, I continually pointed out others. But it was a good question. Read on.
From Pullman — Just one more day until the Cougars take on Oregon in the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament. Thomas Clouse will be covering the team, and he's got a story on the matchup. Washington State will have a pair of All-Conference players taking the court. Mr. Clouse has a story on Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira, and we've got a blog post as well … In our baseball notebook the Cougars respond to the NCAA inquiry into a player's eligibility .
Check out John Blanchette's movie reviews … Ted Miller breaks down the Pac-12 defensive ends … Washington had its first practice under new coach Chris Petersen … But a longtime captain is in trouble with the law … Oregon now has a winning record with yesterday's win over Arizona State … Stanford is hoping to help its tournament resume with a win over Colorado today … Arizona needs to avoid a letdown in the home stretch … Utah has one more shot to prove it can win on the road.
This week's Western Hockey League notebook leads with the Everett Silvertips' late-season drive to improve their positioning for the upcoming postseason. Everett is now one point behind the Spokane Chiefs for the Western Conference's No. 5 seed. Read story
The NCAA has granted Eastern Washington linebacker Ronnie Hamlin a sixth year of eligibility, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.
Hamlin, whose 361 tackles rank third in school history, was given the extra year because he missed the 2009 and 2010 seasons with an ACL injury.
Hamlin, a team captain last year, was an all-Big Sky Conference performer last season with 140 total tackles.