A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is a ritual this time of year as dependable as the first robin of spring or the swallows returning to Capistrano. People won't be happy with all-conference selections. Read on.
• Let's see. Either there are too many players on the all-conference teams (15 does seem like a bit much) or there are not enough players from my team on the all-conference team (what, our big man was left off?) or the best player from my team wasn't the MVP of the league (sure we finished in the middle of the pack, but he was great all year). Whatever the gripe, there always seems to be one either from the fans of good ol' State U or the coaches at Big School University. No one is ever completely happy. Unless, of course, you are a fan of the University of Arizona.
• WSU: There were no Cougars on the All-Pac-12 teams, but no one really has a gripe with that after the season WSU had. Jacob Thorpe has the all-league teams in this blog post, the Pac-12 tournament schedule in this one and more in this morning's post. ... After all these years, the Beavers and Ducks will meet in the postseason for the first time this week. ... ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog takes a look at next year's kickers.
• Gonzaga: Will Gonzaga's men make the NCAA tournament if they lose tonight to BYU in the WCC tournament final? Heck ya. Doesn't matter. Say what you will about GU's resume, the Zags are still in the low 20s in the NCAA's official RPI. That does count for something. As for BYU, the Cougars better win or Sunday will be a nail-biter, that's for sure. ... The Bulldogs earned their final's berth with another beatdown of St. Mary's – that's three times this year, but who's counting? Jim Meehan has the game story and a blog post while John Blanchette has a column on the rivalry's odd season. There are also lots of photographs of the win from Colin Mulvany. ... The Zag women also battled past St. Mary's yesterday. Jim has that story while Colin has photographs. ... BYU and USF's men played an overtime thriller with the Cougars winning. The BYU women also won to set up a showdown with GU.
• EWU: Tyler Harvey earned his spot on the Big Sky first team with hard work and a league-leading scoring average. Jim Allen has more in this story and blog post. ... Weber State won the conference title and had the MVP.
• Idaho: The Vandals Stacey Barr was named WAC MVP and Jon Newlee was the coach of the year after leading the UI women to the conference title.
• Seahawks: Yesterday morning it looked as if Michael Bennett (pictured) was heading out of town. But the Hawks came up with a long-term deal with lots of guaranteed money and the defensive end re-signed with the team. Getting his signature on a contract was considered crucial by the front office. ... Other potential free agents may sign as well.
• Mariners: When my boys were young, I used to throw them batting practice in the basement using wiffle golf balls while they swung a cut-down broom stick. Robinson Cano took that drill a step further recently. ... The M's lost one game yesterday and tied – yes, tied – another. ... You had questions and there were answers. ... There is no question to Lloyd McClendon that Justin Smoak is his first baseman. ... Stephen Pryor is back at it.
• Sounders: There was talk it was time to replace the CenturyLink turf this year but it wasn't done. Now the Sounders' field is becoming the talk of the MLS. ... Osvaldo Alonso may have been lucky Saturday.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back with more tomorrow. That's a promise. Until then ...