A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is still a chance today could be TF60DDOTY (or as it's known to most folks, the first 60-degree day of the year) in the Inland Northwest. Which would make it the best day of the year for me. Yep, nothing better than that first day post-winter (OK, I know it is still winter officially) you can put on shorts and wander around, causing car wrecks and blinding babies with your white legs. Of course, the past few years I've been able to do that in Pullman, where the students would always point admiringly and show their envy (I'm sure) by laughing at the whiteness of my skin. Now I have to do that at home, and the warm weather means I'll be in the back yard with a rake. Read on.
• With such important duty waiting – we do have two dogs by the way – there is a little less time available to spend here. Besides, other than the Cougar women throwing a surprise into the rest of the Pac-12 and Idaho falling in the WAC tourney, there isn't a lot to expound about here today anyway. One thing I will say. The way the Cougar women are playing, it's too bad they won't have a chance to play Washington in the tournament. It seems as if it would be a good time to erase that long losing streak they have to the Huskies. Well, maybe they'll get an opportunity against Stanford in the tourney finals. It's been forever – and that's in the literal sense – since WSU has defeated the Cardinal.
• Washington State: No need to look much further for your WSU news. Christian Caple is on his way back to the Northwest – weather turns nice, he returns – and has the information on the Cougar women's win in this story. He also has almost all the Pac-12 news in his morning blog post. … I say almost, because we found this piece in the Los Angeles Times to pass along on the WSU women along with this one from Long Beach. And there's this blog post from Jon Wilner in San Jose. … In continuing our history of covering BYU's spring practice – history, as in all of a couple days – we have a couple of pieces out of Provo concerning WSU's first fall opponent. By the way, given Mike Leach's background, these two guys could end up on his staff some day. … Our final link on the Cougars features a former basketball player, John Allen, whose Western Washington team will meet former Coug Nick Witherill and Grand Canyon in the NCAA Division II tournament tonight.
• Gonzaga: There is a nice feature in the LA Times about former GU coach Dan Monson and the Long Beach State program.
• Eastern Washington: The Eagles season is done and so is that of Weber State's. … EWU, however, has picked up another transfer quarterback to replace Bo Levi Mitchell and he comes from the same Eastern farm team (SMU). … Eastern's women were upset at the Big Sky tournament.
• Idaho: The Vandals were the hottest team going into the WAC tournament. They were also the first time eliminated. Hawaii did the trick yesterday, 72-70 in Las Vegas. Josh Wright has more in this blog post and we also have this story in today's S-R. … Utah State also left early.
• Whitworth: Jim Allen is in Wisconsin with the Bucs as they prepare for the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen. Jim has this story in advance of this afternoon's game.
• Chiefs: Spokane can always depend on Steve Kuhn taking the ice, as Jess Brown's story explains.
• Shock: The season opener is Monday, though the Arena League is dealing with a small player revolt. Jim Meehan has the news in this blog post.
• UFC: Last week we talked with a couple of Spokane fighters who will be on the Ultimate Fighter show tonight on FX. They also talked with John Blanchette, who has this column.
• Mariners: There is a box full of M's news today, starting with a new ticket policy. I know some folks who wouldn't take them even if they were free (that means you Keith). … There is also this interesting Larry Stone blog post on how the early opener in Japan could affect their roster. … We had the news about Adam Moore yesterday morning, before the M's pounded the Cubs in their exhibition game. … And there is the obligatory feature.
• Sounders: Seattle's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches with Santos Laguna continue in Mexico, which presents some problems for the Sounders. They will also miss MLS' version of opening day.
• That's our report for this morning. Besides getting outside today, we're also spending the weekend in a gym, participating in a basketball camp. It all starts this evening. So we'll be typing slow tomorrow morning, trying to work the soreness out of our body. Until then …