A GRIP ON SPORTS
If yesterday was Selection Sunday, does that make today Copier Monday? Read on.
• I have printed out my bracket and once again found the NCAA at fault. It's just so hard to get this now-68-team affair on one 8-by-11 sheet of paper. The type has to be so small to fit. Thank god I have Coke-bottle-thick glasses. … Speaking of brackets, Christian Caple came up with a novel idea: A SportsLink bracket contest. I think I will even join, using an alias of course. An alias I won't reveal until the tourney is over. That way, whoever wins, I'll just say that was my alias. Young guy comes up with a good idea, old guy figures out how to beat the system. Life in a nutshell. … As for the nuts-and bolts of the bracket, as John Blanchette says, this year the committee seems to have gotten most everything right, with only a few odd points available for discussion – where the heck are my Drexel Dragons? That being said, the openness of the selection committee after it was all over seemed to not only surprise some people, but dismay them as well. Of course, making Gonzaga travel to Pittsburgh for what amounts to a home game for West Virginia and coach Bob Huggins (nice suit), its opening opponent, is tough to swallow around here, especially considering the Zags are seeded higher. But there have been a at least one time when the lower seeded Bulldogs got to play in Seattle – the magical run of 1999 comes to mind – so it's hard to quibble. … Here's Bob Huggins press conference from yesterday. …
• Gonzaga: Yesterday's tournament selection was expected but the devil was in the details of course. Jim Meehan covered all this details in his story and blog post. But we have much more to pass along, including our quick summarizes of the matchup and the pod in Pittsburgh. … Bud Withers has his take on Gonzaga's selection position in the Times and there is coverage in the News Tribune as well. … From West Virginia, there is this story in Charleston Daily Mail and this summary of coach Bob Huggins' press conference. … Andy Katz mentions the Zags – what a shock – in this ESPN piece. … The West Coast Conference is well represented with three teams, including St. Mary's, who will play Purdue, and BYU, who has to face tournament surprise Iona in tomorrow's first-round game. … Jon Wilner had some pre-selection and post-selection thoughts. … Former Zag coach Dan Monson finally got his Long Beach State team in the NCAA.
• Washington State: Christian takes care of all the particulars concerning the Cougars CBI selection – the Pac-12 had two teams in the NCAA (Cal is playing in the first round), four in the NIT (including regular season champion Washington) and two in the CBI (Oregon State is back) – in his morning blog post and story for today's paper. … None of those teams were from Los Angeles, though I'm sure the Bruins could have played in the CBI if they wanted.
• Idaho: The Vandals are in the postseason, playing in the CollegeInsider.com tournament, an event which excludes BCS conference schools. Josh Wright has that covered with a blog post and a story. … Also in the tournament: Utah State. This story covers its appearance and also that of Big Sky Conference member Weber State. The two Utah schools are hosting first-round games, just like Idaho.
• Shock: Don't let the season opener tonight get lost in all the March madness, which happened to include a quite-short work stoppage in the Arena league. Jim Meehan has an advance of tonight's game. … The Shock will host the Iowa Barnstormers, though it's hard to realize it reading the Des Moines paper. There is just a short summary that's not even worth passing along.
• Mariners: So what do we have from spring training? A bunch of young players were sent to the minors yesterday, the bullpen folded in the exhibition game and a feature on a young pitching prospect who is still in camp. Pretty typical stuff.
• Seahawks: There were a lot of ESPN reports yesterday that Peyton Manning has narrowed his potential teams to Denver, Arizona and possibly Miami. That means the Hawks are outside looking in once again. Manning was in Phoenix yesterday.
• That's what we have for you to check out today. As we said yesterday, take the S-R's weekly news quiz online today. By finishing it, no matter how many you get right, and you can enter to contest to win tickets to the NCAA women's tournament at Gonzaga. We're also on the radio this afternoon starting at 3 and you can listen here. Until later …