Bracket madnessIn the race to predict everything before it happens, ESPN’s Charlie Crème has already released a couple of versions of “Bracketology.” In the most recent posting, Crème suggests that Washington State will be a No. 10 seed playing No. 7 seed Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Crème also has Gonzaga as a No. 11 seed playing No. 6 seed Washington in College Station, Texas, where the Zags got bounced in the first round last year by James Madison. “It’s nice to be in the discussion,” Daugherty said. “But the goal is to be actually in it in March. We believe we will.” The Cougars, who are tied for eighth place in the Pac-12, get visited by Utah (6-11, 0-6 Pac-12) on Friday. The Utes also came into Pullman last year riding a 0-5 start to conference play only to beat the Cougs 59-57. “We don’t really look at their records,” Daugherty said. “Offensively and defensively, we want to make sure we are playing at a high level.” Daugherty noted that the Cougars started conference play against three ranked teams. After the Friday game against Utah, the Cougars face Colorado (9-8, 2-4 Pac-12) on Sunday. “It’s not a secret that us and Washington had the toughest schedules in the Pac-12,” Daugherty said. “We can’t control the past. We can only learn from it and go forward.”
Big Sky double-downIdaho (8-8, 2-3 Big Sky) and Eastern Washington (11-5, 4-1) ran headlong into a surging Sacramento State (7-10, 5-1) team this past weekend that has rocketed to the top of the conference standings. First the Hornets flew into Moscow and stung the Vandals 77-49 last Thursday and then Sacramento State came north on Saturday to sack the Eagles 73-67 in Cheney for Eastern’s first conference loss. The Hornets’ wins show how quickly one team, which went 10-10 in the Big Sky last year, can change its or another team’s fortunes in just two games. This week, the Eagles and Vandals trade off playing the same two teams, Northern Colorado (8-8, 2-3) and North Dakota (11-6, 3-2), on the road.
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