A GRIP ON SPORTS
Ever wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep? A million thoughts are running through your head. Finally your mind focuses on one. You refine the thought, clean it up, mull it over and decide it's brilliant. Something that is perfect. Just what you need. Sleep comes. When you wake in the morning you can't remember what it was. Then it hits you. That's it. That's what you were thinking about. And guess what? It's really, really stupid. Read on.
• No, that never happens to me. Why would you ask? Just because I came this close to writing a long satirical blog post about a Spokane man who refuses to put Gonzaga in his bracket's Final Four and how he's ostracized by the community. It seemed like it would be funny. At 2:30 this morning. Now, not so much.
• One quick thought from the women's NCAA tournament. Gonzaga seems a bit underseeded as a 12, though, if I were associated with Iowa State, I certainly wouldn't want to be the 5 seed that has to play the Bulldogs. It seems odd to me that the champion of one of the top seven or eight conferences in the nation – by the numbers – would be as low as a 12 seed. But that probably became necessary because the committee didn't want, should GU win, a 3 or higher seed having to play a second-round game on GU's home court. ... One other thing about the women's bracket. Stanford is the top seed in the West. The second seed is cross bay rival Cal, who finished second in the Pac-12. Would make for a great regional final if the two meet at the Spokane Arena in a couple weeks.
• I know some people are going to say I buried the lead, but I wanted to address actual news before getting into this. There are a couple stories out there parsing Washington State athletic director Bill Moos' comments yesterday on his radio show concerning basketball coach Ken Bone. One ran in our paper from Christian Caple, which covers the situation as well as possible. But don't expect any Internet-shattering news to come out of the annual meeting between Moos and his basketball coach. The Cougars don't have the wherewithal to buy out Bone's contract, even if the desire were there to make a change (and I don't believe it is). The $2.55 million price tag is way too high. Want to know why? Look at the new building on the south side of the football field. Look at the new operations building rising on the west side. Those buildings cost money. And there is only so much to go around.
• Gonzaga: Southern University was 4-26 just a couple seasons ago. Now the Jaguars are in the NCAA tournament and will face Gonzaga Thursday afternoon. Jim Meehan chronicles the amazing turnaround by Southern in this story. ... Dave Boling writes Gonzaga's chances of advancing to the Final Four are the best they have ever been. ... Bud Withers tells us Elias Harris wants to finish his college career with a Final Four berth. ... St. Mary's has a first-round game tonight in Dayton, hoping to emulate VCU from a couple of years ago. ... BYU entertains Washington and C.J. Wilcox in an NIT game tonight. ... With Iowa State as the Zags' first opponent in the women's tournament, Taelor Karr was able to give her teammates a scouting report. Chris Derrick has the story and a blog post. The Cyclones know it will be a road game but they don't believe it will be that tough. They have a point. Iowa State has played in front of opposing crowds of 8,008 (Baylor), 6,199 (Oklahoma) and 5,005 (Texas Tech), so Saturday's crowd shouldn't be too intimidating. ... BYU's women are in the WNIT.
• Washington State: Christian has other duties but he was able to put up a morning post today, with Pac-12 links. He also has the story and blog post on the Ken Bone situation. ... There is one more blog post from Christian. It has the dates and (some of the) times of the spring practices. ... The two teams meeting in the Division II West Regional finals tomorrow have a lot of former Cougars playing for them.
• EWU: The Eastern women earned a WNIT berth and will travel to Seattle to face the Huskies.
• Idaho: The Vandals' reward for earning their first NCAA women's bid in almost three decades is a trip to Storrs to face the University of Connecticut. Christian has the story. ... Seattle U., which lost to UI in the WAC finals, will play in the WNIT. ... The Denver men are happy to be in the NIT, all things considered.
• Whitworth: Another honor is bestowed on a Pirate basketball star.
• Chiefs: It's been a weird season for the Winterhawks, albeit a very successful one.
• Mariners: Two main elements running through the M's stories today, both based on their win yesterday. The first is the power that seems to be emerging in the middle of the order. Not from the youngsters as much as the veterans the M's have imported. The other has to do with the starting pitching as the battle for the five rotation spots heats up.
• Seahawks: Pete Carroll is smart enough to realize great coaching can happen in any sport, and there are lessons to be learned. ... The Hawks were awarded a couple extra late-round draft picks yesterday. ... Want to know what's in the contract of the newest Seahawk?
• Guess what? We're on the radio this afternoon. Dennis Patchin is flying to Salt Lake City to cover Gonzaga, so we're going to fill his seat on 700 ESPN, teaming with Keith Osso and Rick Lukens to talk all things sports. You can listen between 3 and 6 p.m. right here. I'll try to sound lucid. Until then ...