A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sunday mornings are a lazy time. And we're feeling lazy as well. But not so lazy we can't fill the hours before noon with more than enough stories to keep you busy. Read on.
• After all, it's not often we have a day around here in which three of the four major college basketball teams win. That's something. Or when we can link stories to the best of all the professional all-star games, the Pro Bowl. OK, I was totally pulling your leg with that last sentence. Not only is the Pro Bowl the worst of the all the all-star games, we also don't have any links. None whatsoever. And it's not because I'm lazy. It's twofold: I didn't really see any and I wasn't really looking. Because, really, who cares? Baseball's all-star game can be fun, as the nature of the sport is inherent in the one-on-one battles between pitcher and hitter. The personal battles are huge in basketball as well and, to a lesser extent, in hockey. So those all-star games are worth viewing. But football is the ultimate team sport, requiring a chemistry that can't be built a week of half-speed practice. Thus the all-star game degenerates into a mockery of the game itself and really isn't worth watching. But your opinion may be different than mine, so I won't stand in your way. Let's get to the links so you have all day to get ready for the Pro Bowl telecast.
• Washington State: It didn't happen. You know what I mean: The second-half offensive drought that turns a seemingly secure victory into another Pac-12 loss for the Cougars. It has happened nearly every game for Washington State this conference season. But not Saturday in Corvallis. Maybe it's because the game never seemed secure that the drought never occurred. Whatever, WSU picked up its first conference road win. Christian Caple was in Gill Coliseum and has his game story along with lots of blog posts. There is a pregame one, the tale of the tape, quotes and today's morning post.
• Gonzaga: As Kim and I ate dinner at a local restaurant, we watched the Zags dismantle San Francisco in the first half. We were taking a chance, you know, because if GU had played poorly, then the meal wouldn't have tasted nearly as good. But the Zags' relatively poor play didn't occur until late, after the outcome was decided and well after we arrived home, well-fed and content. Jim Meehan had to wait to eat, as he was busy writing his game story and postgame blog post. He'll be back later today with a day-after blog post as well. ... John Blanchette was also at the game and has this column on Elias Harris' (pictured) strong senior season. ... If you want photos, Tyler Tjomsland has them. ... The San Francisco paper used the Associated Press story. ... St. Mary's stayed on GU's heels with a win over Pepperdine. ... BYU bounced back against Portland in a game that became chippy in the second half, resulting in a Pilot being ejected. ... USD's offense was awful. That's Bill Grier's description anyway.
• EWU: Speaking of not having the gas for the second half. Eastern has led all but one of its Big Sky games at halftime only to lose most of them. The same thing happened yesterday at Southern Utah. ... Montana is alone in first place after living at the free throw line in a home win over Weber State. What a surprise. The Grizzlies shot a bunch of free throws at home.
• Idaho: Kyle Barone (standing tall in picture) was dominant in the Vandals victory over Texas-San Antonio at home. How dominant? How about 10-for-10 from the floor? How about 25 points and 16 rebounds? Is that dominant enough for you? Josh Wright has the story and a blog post about the win. ... Texas State made it two-for-two on its Northwest swing, defeating Seattle U. ... Utah State's depleted roster wasn't enough to handle Louisiana Tech.
• Whitworth: The only unexpected thing about the Whits game was how close the outcome was at Pacific Lutheran. The fourth-ranked Pirates won but it wasn't easy.
• Chiefs: Sometimes it's just tough to get the puck past the goaltender enough times to win. That's what happened to Spokane last night at the Arena as the Chiefs peppered Cam Lanigan with 55 shots but lost 4-3. Chris Derrick has the story and a blog post from the defeat. ... Everett lost once more while Portland just hammered Tri-City.
• Preps: Saturday night isn't filled with a bunch of local high school basketball games, but we have enough to fill boys and girls roundups. The big news last night was the end of the regular season in some leagues, including the Northeast 2B, where St. George's boys finished out a perfect stretch. ... The Seattle Times published its annual list of Red and Blue Chip football recruits in the state. There are a few local names included.
• Sounders: Seattle is trying to work in a couple of new players, one of which is trying to learn a new position.
• Sonics: When you read about the folks in Sacramento crying about their Kings being "stolen," remember they did the same thing to Kansas City, who did the same thing to Cincinnati, who did the same thing to Rochester. And the NBA just let it happen, just like it did when the Sonics were moved.
• That's it for today. We're going to have a nice breakfast then hunker down to watch the Pro Bowl. Oh, who am I kidding? We'll probably take in a movie. Why would I watch the Pro Bowl? Until later ...