A GRIP ON SPORTS
I have to admit I didn't see the end of the UNLV/Colorado game last night. Couldn't get to the finish line. Failed. After spending most of the day watching favorite after favorite win, I couldn't stay awake anymore. Heck, it was after 9 for goodness sake. So we hit the sack, only to discover when I arose early this morning the Buffs had blown up that section of my bracket. The darn Pac-12. It destroys me even when it wins. Read on.
• Ya, I know Colorado had been playing well. But who had the Buffs beat? Just other Pac-12 schools, right? So there was no way they were going to take down the University of UCLA Transfers, was there? Well, they did. And that section of my bracket was gone. In fact, of the four games I missed Thursday, three were in the South regional.
• But, really, you don't care do you? You have your own bracket to deal with. All you want to know is Gonzaga news, isn't it? After all, the Zags played well, about as well as they have all season – despite some awfully poor officiating that included a missed double dribble that was as obvious as the belly in my shirt and a couple block/charge calls that were hard to fathom. But GU has played well at times this season. Some of their games – the second St. Mary's game, the second and third BYU game, Notre Dame – have been at a level that compares to their best teams of the past. But there have been enough clunkers mixed in this season – at St. Mary's, at BYU, at USF – that the overall picture has been colored a bit. Maybe that's why the Gonzaga fan base didn't seem all that confident before last night's game, using the we-had-to-travel-and-West-Virginia-didn't argument so vehemently before the contest it seemed like excuse building. It wasn't needed, was it? But just remember this. All those tickets the West Virginia fans bought yesterday? They are all in play for tomorrow's game. And Columbus, Ohio is only about a 3-hour, 20-minute drive away, or about from Spokane to Yakima. You would drive to Yakima to see GU in an NCAA tournament game, wouldn't you? Thought so.
• Gonzaga: You want to spend your morning reading about the rout? We have you covered. And not only do we have our coverage, which includes Jim Meehan's game story, John Blanchette's column, a notebook (about the passing of the Zags' biggest little fan) and Chris Anderson's pictures, we also have coverage from Pittsburgh, with the local paper's game story, and from West Virginia, with a couple of game stories and other assorted coverage. ... But first-game wins don't get the blood roiling as much as they used to, do they, even when they are that dominating. It's the next round that is key, right? In Columbus, home of third-round opponent Ohio State, there is this GU story from AP, some thoughts about the Zags and coverage of the Buckeyes' second-round win over the Loyola from Maryland. ... The Seattle Times' Bud Withers has a column and a notebook. ... The other WCC entrant that competed yesterday didn't fare as well as the Zags, with BYU falling hard against Marquette. There is game coverage and lots of sidebars from the Salt Lake City papers. ... League champion – wow, that's weird to write – St. Mary's gets going today against Purdue and there is coverage from the Bay Area, including this really good column on coach Randy Bennett. ... Former Gonzaga coach Dan Monson and his Long Beach State 49ers fell to New Mexico in Portland yesterday.
• Washington State: Christian Caple has just about everything you might need in his blog posts, from the spring football schedule to links from around the Pac-12. Christian is going to join us on the radio this afternoon in the 4 o'clock hour and discuss next week's spring start and WSU hoops. We have the link to listen at the bottom of this post, as usual. ... The Cougars will be back on the Beasley Coliseum court next on Monday, hosting Wyoming in the CBI's second round. ... Former WSU reserve kicker Blake Dunn has resurfaced at Fresno State. ... Maybe the best read today is about a Husky fan whose allegiances have changed - for one day. ... Jon Wilner isn't a Johnny Dawkins fan.
• Idaho: The Vandals will travel to Logan to take on WAC rival Utah State when the CIT continues next week. ... New Mexico State was one-and-done in the NCAAs as the Aggies lost to Indiana in Portland.
• Eastern Washington: The Big Sky bows out of the NCAA tournament following Montana's loss to Wisconsin.
• Chiefs: The home segment of the regular season finishes up tonight against Seattle.
• Seahawks: So far Seattle hasn't been a splash-maker in the free agent pool, but there's a good reason for that. The Seahawks have been busy with their free agents (inking Michael Robinson yesterday), which may be why an attempt to bring Steve Hutchinson back failed. ... One columnist thinks they really need Matt Flynn.
• Mariners: So, really, how many people can the Michael Saunders bandwagon hold this spring? Another one, Times columnist Jerry Brewer, jumped on yesterday. ... Does veteran Kevin Millwood have anything left, at least anything that can help the M's? ... The Mariners lost to San Francisco yesterday.
• NBA: No particular reason to pass this along, but thought I would anyway. The Portland Trailblazers blew up the franchise yesterday, including dumping coach Nate McMillan.
• That's what we can pass along on this Friday morning. As we said above, we'll be on the radio today (you can listen here if you like) plus we're also going to spend some time at Gonzaga's NCAA women's media day. We'll be working there tomorrow – Kim will be with friends in her seats tucked into the corner of the lower bowl – so we have to do some legwork today. Until later ...