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Las Vegas is where it’s at this week

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you are a basketball fan, the place to be this week in this part of the country is Las Vegas. The WCC tournament. The Pac-12 tournament. The WAC tournament. Heck, even the Mountain West tournament. A lot of basketball. Or, like me, you can just watch in the privacy of your own home. Not nearly as fun but a heck of a lot cheaper. Read on.


••••••••••

• One of these days I'm going to make it to Las Vegas. I'll leave early enough to watch all of the WCC tournament, both men and women. Then I'll stick around to watch the WAC and the Pac-12. If I can make it, I'll try to get over to UNLV to watch the MWC go at it. In between I'll, well, I'll do other things. Sleep, eat at In-n-Out, make a Dunkin' Donuts run, maybe even wander the strip and look at the lights. Golf? Could be. It probably will be a bit warmer than the Inland Northwest. But that's for the future. Not this year. I wonder, however, how many of you have made the trip. Heck, how many of you are in Vegas right now, enjoying the sights and sounds of college basketball central? If you are, let me know what it's like, will you? I want to live vicariously through your exploits. When the Gonzaga game comes on tonight, I'll sit back in my chair and pretend I'm in the stands with you. Or at the craps table racking in my millions of dollars worth of chips. Ya, that happens.

•••

• WSU: The Cougars will open the Pac-12 tournament Wednesday against Stanford, a tough matchup if there ever was. Too bad they weren't playing, say, Colorado. That's a better matchup for them. Jacob Thorpe looks ahead to the Cardinal in this blog post and today's morning post.

• Gonzaga: Ho hum, another matchup with St. Mary's in the WCC tournament. Wait, it's not the finals? That's odd. Jim Meehan, who returned to the blog yesterday morning with a look back at the Santa Clara victory, has an advance of tonight's semifinal. … Mark Few has 400 wins as a college basketball coach. He also has this profile in the Sporting News. Which one do you think he values more? … A confident USF will take on a red-hot BYU in the other matchup tonight. … Jim also has a short advance of the women also meeting up with St. Mary's. … BYU and Pacific match up in the other semifinal. … The Zags stayed atop Bud Wither's Northwest 11 after the Santa Clara win. Withers also has a look at the St. Mary's matchup. … We pass this along because of GU's opponent yesterday in baseball. That is all.

• Idaho: Though Stephen Madison was named the WAC player of the week five times, more than anyone in the league, he wasn't tabbed the player of the year. He did, however, make the all-conference first team. Josh Wright has more in this blog post.

• Preps: A quartet of local contributors were honored this week with lifetime awards by the local media organization.

• Seahawks: It doesn't look as if free agent Michael Bennett will be returning to the Hawks. Mainly because Chicago seems intent on spending whatever it takes to get him. And, if this signing is any indication, it will take a lot. … Doug Baldwin expected the Hawks to tender an offer and they did.

• Mariners: Though Felix Hernandez wasn't really the typical Felix Hernandez, the Mariners rallied for a win yesterday. … Kyle Seager has turned into the steadiest of M's these days. And that's good. … James Paxton may be the surprise success of the Big Three. … There are still some trade rumors flying around out there. … Finally, John McGrath takes me back to a time when being able to buy a little red book made me really happy.

• Sounders: The Sounders' homegrown talent is making a mark. And enjoying the journey.

•••

• A quick morning today. After the overflow of items this weekend, it seemed right. Enjoy the warmth, wherever you are. It's probably a lot warmer than it was a couple weeks ago. Until later … 


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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