A GRIP ON SPORTS
You like college basketball? Well, today's your day. Pick up the remote, sit down in your favorite chair and watch an extravaganza that will last long enough to induce bed sores. Read on.
• The first thing I did today was open the newspaper's sports section to the agate page, the inside page with all the sports statistics in smaller type (termed agate back in the day). In the upper left-hand corner was a list of the 17 – yes 17 – live basketball games that will be televised today in Spokane. The overload begins at 9 a.m. (with Syracuse and Temple meeting in New York) and ends with Fresno State's visit to Pauley Pavilion, set to tip at 8 p.m. Of course to watch all these game you will need an expensive cable or satellite package – and the right cable or satellite package, as six of the games are on the Pac-12 Network, which still isn't on DirectTV. But with all the choice Spokane viewers have, there are a couple games I really would like to watch today and can't, at least in the comfort of my own Laz-E-Boy. For example, St. Mary's is at Northern Iowa, a mid-major clash that will be loud, physical and fun. Butler is playing today as well, but the Bulldogs game with Evansville is not on here. So I guess if I want to see those two matchups, I have to head to my friendly watering hole. That's so sad. And yes, I am kidding.
• Washington State: The Cougars played their final game before Christmas in Seattle and almost gift-wrapped a win for Buffalo. But WSU played Grinch in the second half, locking down on defense and getting just enough of a late push from star Brock Motum to earn a 65-54 win at Key Arena. Christian Caple was there and filed the game story along with a pregame post, quotes and a tale of the tape. He also has his morning blog post which links football action today – the Huskies play in Las Vegas this afternoon – and basketball games from last night. ... Ted Miller has his final pre-Christmas mailbag at ESPN.com and there is also a summary of WSU's football season. ... The Cougar women lost in the Carrier Dome yesterday.
• Gonzaga: The Zags are off until after Christmas, but that doesn't mean there aren't WCC items to pass along. ... GU's first game back is against Baylor, who held off BYU at home yesterday. ... Santa Clara won its first game in the Cable Car Classic, a tournament with a long history but one that will be undergoing changes. ... San Diego faces Oregon State today in Las Vegas.
• Idaho: Utah State continues to win.
• Seahawks: Sunday night is the big showdown in Seattle, with the 49ers coming in with a backup trying to replace a key defensive piece and the Hawks finding out yesterday that one of their best defenders will be available (that would be Richard Sherman, pictured). Others, they are not so sure about.
• Mariners: "Are you a former baseball player with Pacific Northwest ties? Are you hoping for a rebirth? If you are, call the Seattle Mariners at (555) 555-HOPE. They may just have a spot for you. Call now. Operators are waiting."
• That's it for this fine Saturday morning. Yes, I intend to watch a little college basketball, a little college football and do a little shopping. Last-minute details. A fine Christmas tradition. Until later ...