A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sorry this is so late on this rainy Sunday, but you know that virus I wrote about yesterday, the one that attacked my computer? Well, it somehow jumped through the keyboard and infected me – Tron III anyone? – and now I'm the one running hot, processing information slowly and watching my batteries run down at lightning speed. The computer? It's just fine thank you. Read on.
• Because I can hardly see the screen – and the sweat is dripping off my forehead onto the mouse – I'm not going to add a lot of personal comment to today's links, other than to say it was a pretty good weekend for the local college basketball teams. Gonzaga pounded the first- and third-place WCC teams, Washington State split the Oregon trip, Idaho stayed hot, Eastern gave Big Sky-leading Weber State all it could handle and Whitworth clinched another Northwest Conference title. All-in-all a good weekend.
• Gonzaga: Sat in the chair last night – yes, it's a very nice Laz-E-Boy – with a blanket covering me and watched the Zags put together another fine effort on both ends of the court, stopping Loyola 78-59. This is the team no other NCAA school wants to play in the tournament, with the freshman guards playing like seniors, the bigs playing big, the bench filling gaps and the defense getting into the opponent. Play at this level the rest of the way and GU may still not win its 12th-consecutive WCC title, but it might just makes some other history. … Jim Meehan has his game story here along with a blog post from last night. His more in-depth blog post will be along later. … Here is what the LA Times has on Loyola. … From the conference, St. Mary's returned home and routed last-place Santa Clara while BYU did the same to Pepperdine, also at home. … The GU women bounced back and handled USF on the road.
• Washington State: Though the Cougars lost to Oregon for the second time this season, the feel after the game was different, according to Christian Caple's game story. He also had a blog post last night and one this morning, chock full of links, which means there is no need for us to run down the Pac-12 items. … We will pass along Jon Wilner's blog post, however, because it covers more than just that conference. … And former Coug Bernard Lagat set another American record.
• Eastern Washington: Once again the Eagles put the opponent on the free-throw line way too much. And Weber State took advantage in an 84-75 victory. The Wildcats made 32 of their 35 attempts, negating Eastern's 43.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc. … Montana named former West Valley High star Ty Gregorak its new defensive coordinator.
• Idaho: The Vandals remain in third place in the WAC after their 73-64 home win over Louisiana Tech, UI's fourth consecutive victory. We have this short story, along with Josh Wright's blog post. … New Mexico kept its half-game edge on Idaho with an 80-69 win over Utah State and Nevada defeated San Jose State.
• Whitworth: Another road win, this one in Oregon at Pacific, made it official. The Pirates are once again NWC champs.
• Preps: It's wrestling time and Mike Vlahovich covered the 3A Regionals for us.
• Chiefs: This was not the best Saturday night for Spokane, as it squandered a big chance against Tri-City, 5-3, in front of a big home crowd. Jess Brown has this story.
• Mariners: The other teams won't open spring camp until next week but Seattle is already hard at work as I write this (a bit of an exaggeration, but fun nonetheless). The biggest questions are on the bump. And Justin Smoak is the player I am picking to have a breakout year (I will stand by that statement even if he's hitting .239 in May).
• NBA: If Seattle is to replace the Sonics, it will probably have to steal a team. Right now, that team looks to be Sacramento. Might make a good poll this week, asking you folks how you feel about that. Or about David Stern.
• Sorry about my lack of visibility yesterday, but the afternoon and evening weren't my best time. After being out and about early in the afternoon, the bug hit hard when I got home and even thinking about typing made my fingers hurt. We'll bounce back today (have to, as Kim and I will be celebrating Valentine's Day a couple days early) and be good as new (fingers crossed, which explains all the typos in the post). Until later …