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A GRIP ON SPORTS

Years ago I used to look forward to Thursday nights because it meant "Hill Street Blues" and "Cheers." Now I look forward to Thursday nights because it means a full night of college basketball. These days are better, though I miss hearing "let's be careful out there." Read on.

••••••••••

• Let's see. There's the much-anticipated showdown in the Kennel between visiting St. Mary's and Gonzaga. Then there is Eastern hosting Northern Arizona out in Cheney. And, a few miles south, Idaho hosts WAC newcomer Denver. About the only thing missing is a Cougar game, but, thanks to the new-world of Pac-12 basketball, they are already done with their first game of the week. And it didn't end pretty. Really. For about 35 minutes last night, Washington State looked as if it was going to hand Stanford another conference loss. But when the Cougars needed to execute on the offensive end and get stops on the defensive side, they did neither. The result, another late-game defeat. Thankfully there is the typical Thursday night schedule of local college hoops to wash the icky taste from our mouth.

•••

• Washington State: Another close loss for the Cougars, another game story from Christian Caple, who in in the Bay Area for the weekend. He also had a pregame post from Maples Pavilion, where, when it gets foggy, it is hard to see the court from the media's vantage point, along with a tale of the tape, a blog post with quotes and a morning post today with links. He also has his short summary of the weekend on our college basketball page. Christian will be holding a live chat today, quite possibly from the Golden Gate Bridge or an In-n-Out parking lot. ... He also has this blog post on some football coaching rumors involving the Cougars.

• Gonzaga: It's been a long time since someone other than Gonzaga can appear at McCarthey wearing the label, defending WCC champions. But that's the case tonight as the Gaels come to town. Jim Meehan has an advance, a notebook and the weekend summary. He also has a day-of-game blog post. ... St. Mary's is worried about GU's size inside (as is everyone in the conference). ... BYU is adjusting to some new rules while trying to stay competitive in the WCC. ... San Diego will try to hand USF another conference defeat.

• EWU: As we said yesterday, we'll be filling in for Jim Allen on coverage of Eastern's game tonight, though Jim handled the summary and the news from Cheney about a couple of offensive stars heading early to the NFL draft. Jim also has this feature on Jeffrey Forbes, who is handling more of the load for EWU after the loss of Justin Crosgile. ... The best team in the Big Sky may just be Weber State.

• Idaho: The Vandals are at home this week and Josh Wright put together this summary.

• Chiefs: Spokane has a three-game winning streak and they all are against the same club. Chris Derrick covered last night's win over Seattle in the Arena against a Seattle team that just keeps losing. ... Portland, on the other hand, keeps winning and setting records. ... Tri-City also won last night.

• Preps: It's Thursday, which means Prep Page day. Greg Lee has a column and a feature on Colfax's Brandon Gfeller. ... There was wrestling last night and Mike Vlahovich was at one of the matches.

• Seahawks: The Atlanta Falcons have something to prove this weekend (especially quarterback Matt Ryan) and that makes them dangerous. ... The Hawks are down a kicker, so they signed a veteran that grew up a Seahawk fan. ... Pete Carroll only seems smarter now the team is better. ... Marshawn Lynch is following his usual schedule. ... It's Bruce Irvin's time to step up.

• Sounders: Fredy Montero said goodbye to his second home yesterday while the MLS announced next season's schedule.

• Mariners: The baseball writers didn't vote anyone into the Hall of Fame, which means Edgar Martinez missed out again. Don't expect the best designated hitter of all-time to get in anytime soon. Could it be some of the writers though he built those biceps through illegal means?

• NBA: Twitter went nuts yesterday with reports the Sacramento Kings were being sold to Chris Hansen and his Seattle group. It doesn't look to be a done-deal just yet though, but the reports sure fired up Supersonics fans and caused some consternation in Sacramento.

•••

• As we said, we'll be out in Cheney tonight and tweeting from the Eagles game. Otherwise, we'll be back here tomorrow. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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