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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Interesting Monday in women’s basketball

Getting ready for what we hope is a good game ... but won't bet on it because the Gonzaga women are so disappointing at home. OK, that's not fair. I'm being facetious The GU women are really good at home, many of the games are disappointing. Hopefully Southern Utah will put up a good fight tonight at McCarthey. GAme time is 6 p.m.

We'll talk about that in moment, but first, Gonzaga's Kayla Standish (above left in GU photo) gets her second WCC Player of the Week award, who replaces UConn at No. 1 in the AP poll and Charle Creme of ESPN has his latest bracketology with a couple of interesting twists predicted for Spokane, which we'll also discuss below.

The Zags have upgraded their schedule in where they'll go and who they'll play and they get some teams to come calling (thank you Stanford), but the truth is other than the top end of the Pac-10, west coast women's isn't very good. Check Charlie Creme's ripping of the Mountain West Conference - and he also says because the Zags didn't come up with a key win on their schedule, they'll only get in as an automatic qualifier. Back in the day, wins over BYU, Montana, Eastern Washington and Idaho might have meant something. Not this year. Which didn't make up for losses at USC and to Mississippi in Hawaii. The Zags needed those wins. The way they played Stanford at home and Notre Dame in Seattle - as well as the NCAA Tournament wins - show how close they are, but until they get some regular season wins against BCS leagues or their tradition west coast non- conference rivals get better or until the WCC gets up to and beyond average, Gonzaga is going to have to do it all itselves. In the meantime, when they get to Las Vegas, hold your breath.

Strange AP poll, my Top 10 matches exactly and after that it gets crazy. ... which moves into Creme's bracketology.

There are six No. 1 seeds, he leaves Stanford and Texas A&M two seeds. Tennessee with two losses is the fourth No. 1 ... slated for Spokane, bringing Angie Bjorklund home. And the top No. 2 is Stanford, headed for Spokane ... what a rematch that would be since they played to OT in Knoxville. The three-four are Michigan State and Iowa out of the Big 10.

Absent from the Spokane regional is Gonzaga. But remember, that's the regional, the second weekend at the Arena hosted by Washington State. The Bulldogs are still in line to make the field as the hosts at McCarthey Athletic Center.

Knowing that Creme thinks so poorly of Gonzaga, how low does he seed the Bulldogs and who has the misfortune of being a high seeding have to play here?  Well, he has the Zags as a No. 12, with Wisconsin-Green Bay as the No. 5. FYI, other than WGB assistant coach Mike Divilibiss, the former Idaho coach, can't imagine anyone with that program too happy with the thought of that pairing. DePaul, which beat Stanford, would be here as a No. 4 facing No. 13 Wyoming out of the MWC. ... Sure, Gonzaga could come out of that to make a Sweet 16 ... which Creme predicts would be in the Dallas regional.

Just remember, the season, as Creme points out, is just through the first third. Plenty can still happen, not just among the top 6 vying for a No. 1 seed, but all the way down to who gets sent to Gonzaga. By the way, if you look at the 16 first-round sites, most are hosted by sure-thing top seeds plus a couple where women's basketball is popular but the home team is a long-shot to even make the tournament. Except Gonzaga, so there should be some national attention coming our way about March 14 when the women's field is announced.

So, there you have something to talk about.

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