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Cooper & Vandersloot PofW

The news is starting to pile up on the women's basketball beat and time is running out to post it. Read on.

Just settling in to get you updated, starting with Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot getting her tenhundredth WCC PofW honor and Eastern Washington's Chene Cooper (above in EWU photo) getting her first from the Big Sky Conference and the Bulldogs inching up in the Top 25.

Kinda trying to hurry, hoping to see Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi)  return to action for Tennessee  at 4 p.m. today on ESPN2, then listen to the Spokane Chiefs in their traditional New Year's Eve Western Hockey League game at Tri-City tonight at 7, then the phone rang.

Before I could think to say I was really, really busy, I mentioned I was working but listening to a Flying Burrito Brothers concert as well and suddenly there was a conversational detour that wasn't expected, but now I'll forge ahead, a litlte quicker than planned

Charlie Creme talks about the difficult in placing the 7-12 teams (or overall seeds) in the tournament, or half the second seeds through the third. That sets up his bracketology. What makes that interesting is Spokane, for the regional hosted by WSU at the Arena, would get two of the top six teams in the the country, if indeed there is a clear division between six and seven. Stanford is all but a lock as the No. 1 seed, but should something happen, they would never drop below the first two.

The first weekend is something else for the four teams at Gonzaga. Yes, Gonzaga is going to be there, but still has the Zags as a double-diget team. He has them seeded No. 11 facing No. 6 Georgia Tech, with a win likely to put them against No. 3 UCLA, which is starting with a No. 14 Tennessee Tech. And it's in the Dallas regional.

The Spokane regional would be No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Xavier (a potential regional final rematch from last year in Sacramento when X woulda-coulda-shoulda won), No. 3 Miami and No. 4 Georgetown. Not much history of mystic from the Hurricans and Hoyas.

So why can't Gonzaga be a 7 like they were last year in Seattle, where they beat No. 10 North Carolina and No. 2 Texas A&M before losing to No. 3 Xavier.

The Zags had four losses last year and ran roughshod over the WCC. Was the league a little tougher? Has the non-conference field weakened?

Last year GU lost @ South Dakota State in OT, the Jackrabbits coming off a magic season. They lost by 31 @ Stanford, then lost to Baylor by 21 and A&M by 4 in Las Vegas. SDSU faded somewhat but the other three had monster years.

This year the losses are at USC by a couple, a tight home loss to Stanford, one-point to a weak Mississippi team in Hawaii, top 10 team Notre Dame in Seattle. Little weaker losses, but not sure they're so bad the team drops 10 or more spots overall.

Of course, in the end it doesn't matter.




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