A GRIP ON SPORTS
You know what seems like a good idea this morning? Hunt down that darn groundhog with the good PR and make him pay. I thought we were promised an early spring. Yep, it's snowing here in the Inland Northwest this morning. Read on.
• It's not like it is unexpected, of course. Winter isn't going to give up its grip until mid-to-late March, even if the fingers have notably loosened lately. But the overnight snow, and the continuing flurries of this morning are more than a bit annoying. I'm not complaining just for myself, mind you. Think of the children. After all, Friday girls basketball teams from all over the state of Washington will be traveling, some from this side of the state to the West Side, others making the trip in the opposite direction. Saturday it's the boys turn. All because a 16-team, double-elimination tournament just didn't make economic sense anymore. We understand the tournaments were not making enough money to justify the old format, and the WIAA has to rely on playoff receipts to fund its operations. That makes sense. But who pays for the increased travel for the schools that must make a 700-mile roundtrip for one game then, if it wins, oftentimes having to make the same trip the next weekend? I'm sure it's cheaper (at least for somebody) or the change wouldn't have been instituted, but it just looks bad. If you take a quick peek at the boys and girls schedules for this weekend, you see schools as big as Lakes and Central Valley and as small as Toutle Lake busing across the state for one game this weekend. One game. Nothing better than to spend all day on a bus then find you left your jump shot back home, fall behind by 24 in the first half and know another 6-hour ride awaits. Cool. Let's hope the snow turns to sunshine by then.
• Gonzaga: On a day when the Zags were anointed as the No. 3 team in the nation in both polls, Jim Meehan decides to concentrate on academics in his GU notebook. What does he think these kids are, college students? (We kid, of course.) … At least we found one story that focused on the Gonzaga's chances of being No. 1, and whether that's a good thing. … BYU is back in action tonight, hosting Utah State in a game that was postponed from earlier in the season.
• Washington State: The Cougars are headed to the warmth of the desert, with a game at Arizona State on tap for tomorrow night. Christian Caple talked with coach Ken Bone on Tuesday, which led to this blog post. There was also some (not-so-good) football news, all of which was covered in Christian's morning post today. … Being a Pac-12 fan these days isn't as easy as it once was.
• EWU: The Eagles had been on a roll, until the first half at last-place Portland State last night. They overcame an 18-point deficit to retake the lead but the Vikings came back and handed Eastern a tough-to-take defeat.
• Whitworth: The Pirates are heading back up the polls, moving to eighth this week.
• Preps: Many of the final playoffs spots for this weekend were filled yesterday. We have a roundup of the local action.
• Mariners: The player of the day award goes to big first baseman Justin Smoak. Whether or not Smoak is finally going to reach his potential seems to be the story of choice this morning from spring training. Well, will he? I'm not so sure. How about you? … Mike Zunino is biding his time.
• Sonics: Do you know “everyone” is rooting for Sacramento to keep its team? … There was a lot made about the passing of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. We pass along this piece from the Los Angeles Times about his relationship with one of the best players of all time.
• That's what we have for you this morning. And, yes, outside my window it's still snowing. Hope it's nicer where you are. Until later …