Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


So what are you planning to do today?

A GRIP ON SPORTS • So what’s on your docket today? Are you in the office, dealing with irate customers or interminable meetings? Or did you get the day off, hoping to take a long walk through the park and enjoy the spring-like weather? Or are you celebrating St. Patty’s day with plans for some corned beef hash and an Irish beverage? Read on.


• Just kidding. I know what you have planned. Probably the same thing I’m doing. Watching NCAA tournament games. Either you have figured out a way to sneak games at work or you’ve finagled the day off, I’m sure. How could you not? Today and tomorrow are about as good as it gets since the emergence of a million channels have made it possible for every game to be on. There once was a time, kids, when only one game was available at a time. Say it ain’t so grampa. Yep, those were the dark ages. But now, the wonders of satellites and cable allow us the ability to watch any team at anytime. It’s gotten so inclusive you almost have to make a scheduling plan as to not miss something. I’ve got mine. You have yours? Here’s what I’m doing. The morning kicks off on CBS with the Duke game at 9. If there ever was a year the Blue Devils could suffer a humbling first-round defeat, this is it. Even if I’m not sure whether UNC Wilmington is actually in North Carolina or not. Isn’t there a Wilmington in Delaware? But I’m only watching a bit of that game. I’m more interested in Butler and Texas Tech. They tip on truTV at 9:30. I’ll probably focus on that game, though Colorado, one of seven Pac-12 schools, faces Connecticut at 10 on TNT. The next block of games begins with a contrast in styles (and we’re not just talking hoops): Baylor vs. Yale at 11:30. Hopefully that will be a rout so I can turn over to watch a few minutes of Virginia vs. Hampton on truTV again at noon. If I get a half of that game I may see two or even three baskets. At 3:45 Miami plays Buffalo on TNT. I think the Dolphins are favored by a touchdown, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Ralph Wilson’s old team. North Carolina begins its quest for national title number whatever against Florida Gulf Coast, who had about 48 hours to recovery from its play-in game. Let’s hope there was a lot of chocolate milk on the flight. Same goes for Wichita State, which gets Arizona on TNT at 6:15, another game that seems like a can’t miss. But we will have to, at least after a while. The hometown team, Gonzaga, faces Seton Hall at around 7, give or take a few minutes. That’s another game on truTV, which means I will have that channel on more today than I’ve had it on in the previous 11 months.

• Congratulations to Eastern Washington for winning its first-ever postseason basketball game last night – as an NCAA school. To say the 79-72 win over Pepperdine was the school’s first postseason win is a bit of a misnomer, as the school was something of an NAIA power back in the day. OK, I know it was even before I was born, but history is history. And nothing gets under my skin more than rewriting it. It’s like the way the NCAA treats women’s basketball before the organization took it over. You know, as if it never existed. Well, it did. And there were great players back then too. Just like Eastern had back in its NAIA days. Heck, in one of those years, Eastern was eliminated from the tournament by Pepperdine. So last night was a measure of revenge. The Eagles, who were not known as the Eagles in those days, also had one heck of a coach back then. A guy named Red Reese. You might recognize the name. It’s also on the school’s court.


• Gonzaga: The Zags face the Pirates tonight and Jim Meehan is in Denver where he awaits the tip. He has a preview of the game that focuses on the difference in styles between the teams. He also has a notebook which includes an update on Przemek Karnowski’s health. ... John Blanchette is also on the road again and he has a column on freshman guard Josh Perkins. ... Dan Pelle has this photo report from practice yesterday. ... The Gonzaga women are playing tonight, at home, where they will host UC Riverside in the WNIT. Jim Allen has an advance of the game. ... Jim also has an analysis of our area’s women’s teams and their postseason fate. ... The GU/Seton Hall game has seemed to caught the nation’s fancy a bit, so we have a lot of stories to pass along, both those published in our state and from New Jersey. And, as well, pieces to read from Denver. ... BYU won its NIT game yesterday.

• WSU: As the top seed here in Spokane is a Pac-12 school, we’ll link the stories coming out of the pod here. The biggest news of the day broke late, with the report California point guard Tyrone Wallace suffered a broken bone in his hand. ... Hawaii has a guy on its staff that is familiar to Cal fans. ... The Ducks received some good news yesterday. ... Oregon State is depending on Gary Payton II to carry it to new heights. ... Is this really the turning point for USC basketball? We’ve heard that before. ... The teams playing in Spokane are staying downtown.

• EWU: Eastern’s 79-72 win last night was even more astounding than one might have thought at first glance. Venky Jois, the senior leader of the Eagles’ front line, didn’t play in the second half after tweaking a knee in the first. Jim Allen has all that information plus more in his game story.

• Idaho: The Vandals' basketball season ended last night due to a 68-63 loss to Seattle in the CBI’s first round.

• Whitworth: The Pirates have another All-American, this time in swimming.

• Chiefs: The Chiefs needed a win. They got it, albeit in overtime. But it came at Everett, which isn’t an easy place to win.

• Preps: It’s Thursday, so Greg Lee has a column in today’s paper. He looks back at the winter sports seasons in the area. ... He also has the news Justin Janke is running off to WSU and Dale Poffenroth is running off into retirement – this time for good.

• Seahawks: Did the Hawks stunt Bruce Irvin’s growth? Could he not reach his potential in Seattle? He thinks so. ... Free agency is still the big news in the NFL, with Russell Okung now in Denver – maybe he wanted to watch the Zags? – and the Hawks still looking for offensive line help. ... Long snapper Clint Gresham was let go yesterday, saving the Hawks a little cap space.

• Mariners: The M’s rallied for a 9-6 win over the Giants but that wasn’t the best part of the day. No, that would be the new commercials, which were released yesterday. ... The bullpen better be straightened out soon.


• Guess what? I’m back on the radio again today. I’m with Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens on 700 ESPN starting at 3 p.m. and going until 6. You can listen here if you want. Until then ...

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Follow Vince online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.