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Another basketball roller coaster

A GRIP ON SPORTS

College basketball has its ups and downs. A good example of that occurred last night at the Pac-12 tournament, where UCLA came up big with a semifinal win over Arizona, only to have star freshman Jordan Adams come down wrong on his foot to end the game. Read on.

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• It seems all the rage in Southern California. A star guard injured on the final play of a game. It happened earlier in the week when the Lakers' Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle on a final shot – and ignited a Twitter-fire – then it popped up again last night with Adams (pictured), who had a game-high 24 points in UCLA's third win over UA this season. Funny thing, though. In keeping with the up-and-down nature of the game, Adams' injury was almost overshadowed by Arizona coach Sean Miller's probably undeserved technical and his postgame press conference lamenting the crucial two points. (As an aside, I was at a WSU game earlier this year when Ken Bone received a technical foul for yelling, and I'm quoting a couple nearer-than-me observers, "rebound" to his team, so this isn't the most egregious one I've witnessed this season.) Christian Caple was at the tournament game and covered it for the S-R, so we don't have to link stories from Arizona or Los Angeles (we will anyways). And, with the result, UCLA has to try to get up again and earn the Pac-12's automatic NCAA berth – and will play any NCAA tournament games – without one of its key players. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have to wait until Sunday to see how far down the seed line they will fall. As I said, up and down.

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• Gonzaga: The calm before Sunday's storm continues (see our poll today), but we did find this analysis of St. Mary's at-large chances. It might be tougher than the Gaels' RPI of 33 indicates.

• Washington State: Christian has his morning post, which covers most things Pac-12 related, but we can add ESPN.com's weekly mailbag, which begins with a WSU question, along with some thoughts on the conference's basketball and summaries of commissioner Larry Scott's press conference. ... Former WSU guard John Allen led Western Washington to a win in the NCAA Division II playoffs last night while Seattle Pacific and former WSU forward Patrick Simon also won.

• EWU: The Eastern women forced overtime but couldn't get over the hump and fell in the Big Sky tournament. ... The men's tournament is also winding down in Missoula, with host Montana and Weber State earning finals berths.

• Idaho: One local Division I team is still alive, and Christian has the story of the Vandal women moving into the WAC finals. ... They will face the league champions from Seattle U.

• Whitworth: The Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III playoffs awaits tonight in the Fieldhouse, with the Pirates hosting Mary Hardin-Baylor. There is nothing about that sentence that seems usual to me. See, when the Pirates have played in the NCAA tournament before, they have always – always – been sent a million miles away by the Sweet Sixteen. Jim Allen has an advance.

• Chiefs: When the Chiefs had a chance to grab the fourth seed – and home ice for the playoffs' first round – they didn't hesitate. Of course, scoring six goals didn't hurt at all. Chris Derrick has a story and a blog post about the shutout win over Tri-City that clinched the playoff berth. ... The team gave out its awards last night. ... Portland fought its way past Seattle.

• Preps: Greg Lee caught up with a former West Valley star Hannah Love, who will lead North Idaho College in the national tournament.

• Mariners: The M's played two games yesterday, beating the Angels in the day and then losing to the Netherlands at night. They also picked the day to give a couple of their veteran off-season pitching signees a chance to show what they have. ... The Netherlands squad, which is still alive in the WBC, something the U.S. can't say, featured a few players with Seattle ties. ... There is a young shortstop in camp that is trying to emulate Kyle Seager. ... There are fewer young players in camp as the M's made some roster moves.

• Seahawks: It looks as if Seattle has cut ties with receiver Ben Obomanu, though there is nothing official yet.

• Sounders: Speaking of official, after a courtship that was longer than the one Abe Lincoln had with Mary Todd, the Sounders have finally settled things with designated player Obafemi Martins. The striker might even be in uniform and see the field for tonight's game with the Portland Timbers. ... We're sure DeAndre Yedlin will be there. ... The Champions League semis are set.

• Sonics: This Adam Lewis story on LeBron James and a Cheney man is worth reading.

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• We're really busy today so we'll call it good for now. I'm hoping it isn’t the best day of the spring, because I'm spending it inside at the Dan Fitzgerald Basketball Clinic. No reason you folks should enjoy the weather if I can't. And, yes, that is a totally selfish attitude. Until later ...




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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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