PORTLAND - Last weekend in Missoula, after Eastern beat Montana to win the Big Sky title, athletic director Bill Chaves mused, "I hope we make it on one shining moment." Of course, he meant the season-ending video highlights after the NCAA title game, but he may have missed the point: Eastern has enjoyed plenty of shining moments this year, from the win over Indiana, the 26 wins, the national scoring leader in Tyler Harvey and the Big Sky tournament title. Now there's a chance to shine even more brightly in front the biggest crowd in EWU history - potentially 19,441 - at the Moda Center. Less than 12 hours to go as I write this.
In the meantime, Spokesman-Review photographer Dan Pelle caught dozens of shining moments as the Eagles held their shootaround lat night. I wrote this game preview, focusing on the matchups and the mentalities. John Blanchette's column highlights the breath of fresh air that is Eastern coach Jim Hayford. And Jacob Thorpe offers this notebook, leading with massive Georgetown center Josh Smith, who hails from Kent, Washington.
Incredibly, other media were there too. The Oregonian has a nice feature on Tyler Harvey, and the Washington Post has this story on Smith's homecoming.The Post also has a story on Georgetown's laggard performance in recent tournaments, and how the Hoyas want to change that.