Good morning one last time from Missoula, where the Eagles celebrated deep into the night after their thrilling win over Montana in the Big Sky championship game. As the confetti rained down and the Eagles danced at center court in the Dahlberg Arena, Eastern Washington coach Jim Hayford smiled and preached the virtues and rewards of hard work.
It was four years of hard work, as I chronicled earlier in the week in this story and this timeline; it all paid off Saturday night at Dahlberg Arena. The next stop: Cheney this afternoon for a Selection Sunday celebration at Reese Court. The doors open at 2 p.m., and the public is invited. The bracket unveiling will begin at 3:15.
And after that? Eastern could find itself playing an NCAA game in Portland or Seattle, if all goes well. At 26-8, the Eagles could wind up as high as a 13 seed, but I'll wager on a 14. That's for the committee to decide.
See you in Cheney.
In the meantime, here's the rest of our coverage, including John Blanchette's column, my notebook from the Big Sky tournament, and a photo collection from Associated Press. And if you didn't follow me (@srjimallen) on Twitter last night, well, you should have.
I was working hard too, and enjoying every minute of it.