A GRIP ON SPORTS • There aren’t enough hours in some Saturdays to get finished what we all want to accomplish. That is, if the to-do list includes anything other than sports, either live or on television. Today is one of those Saturdays. And how. Read on.
• Maybe it’s a good thing Eastern Washington didn’t get past its FCS semifinal with Youngstown State last (calendar) year. If the Eagles had, we could have thrown a national title football game into the mix of must-watch events today.
As it is, even with the Youngstown State versus James Madison matchup way down our list, the schedule is full.
If you want to get out and about today – hey, it is warming up; it should be in the mid-20s – there is a myriad of options.
In Pullman, the Cougars will meet Oregon late this afternoon in a matchup of two of the Pac-12’s three undefeated teams. Of course, the Ducks are heavily favored, as they should be. They are 14-2 overall, ranked 15th and were the preseason favorites to win the conference. But the Cougars have won four consecutive games. (If you don’t want to make the trip, the game is on the Pac-12 Networks.)
While you’re down in the Palouse, you could make it a doubleheader if you want, as Idaho hosts Montana State at 7, meaning the Cougar game, with its 4 p.m. start, will be over in plenty of time to get across the border.
If you want to stay in the greater Spokane area and observe your hoop in the early afternoon, you can chose between heading out to Cheney and watching the Eastern Washington men face off with Interstate 90 rival Montana with first place in the Big Sky on the line, or you can head to the McCarthey Athletic Center for a 2 p.m. game between the Gonzaga and Portland women.
There is another option in the college ranks, but that would mean making a tough choice. The Whitworth teams play a doubleheader with Linfield starting at 4 p.m., but a trip to North Spokane – or the Palouse or just about any of the myriad of high school basketball games tonight – comes at a cost.
The Seahawks host Detroit tonight in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs starting at just after 5 p.m.
Though this season’s version of the Hawks isn’t a lock-down choice to make the Super Bowl, this is still a Seattle playoff game. There once was a time, not too long ago, that was enough to put you life on hold. For many of you, it still is. For others, today’s game just means making choices.
After all, the nation’s 5th-ranked college basketball team is also on television tonight. Gonzaga’s men are in Portland for a 7 p.m. game with the Pilots and new coach Terry Porter.
That’s a must-see event, right? Unless it isn’t, because the second-half of the Hawks’ game will be on at the same time.
Maybe we will get lucky. Maybe the Seahawks will blow out Detroit. Maybe by the time the Zags’ tipoff, we will know Seattle is headed to a matchup with Atlanta next week.
We’re never that blessed, are we?
• By the way, if you really want to watch the FCS championship game, it’s on ESPN this morning. It starts at 9 a.m., so it shouldn’t interrupt much. Except maybe the non-sports-television-watching part of your life. Have much of that?
Gonzaga: Jim Meehan is in Portland and he has an advance of tonight’s game as well as an examination of the Pilots tough backcourt and a look back at the recent games between the schools. … It’s been a special week for senior Elle Tinkle. Whitney Ogden explains why in this story. …
WSU: Yes, the Ducks are favored by a bunch today, as Jacob Thorpe mentions in his advance, but so were the UCLA women last night. They came to Pullman ranked ninth nationally and left with an 82-73 defeat. … Stefanie Loh takes a statistical look at WSU’s student conduct board. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 today, Utah tries to rebound on the road at Arizona State. … Colorado does the same at Arizona, which may just have its best player back. Or not. … Washington lost a tough one to Oregon State last season. The Huskies haven’t forgotten. … In football news, ESPN.com’s Ted Miller answers questions in his weekly mailbag.
EWU: Cooper Kupp didn’t win a second-consecutive Walter Payton Award last night. That’s all we are going to say about that. … As we said, Montana is in town to face the Eagles.
Whitworth: The Pirates don’t expect to lose home Northwest Conference games. So the unexpected happened last night, as Pacific come in the Fieldhouse and upset Whitworth 90-88. Josh Horton has the story.
Chiefs: A pair of goals each by a pair of players led Spokane to a 4-1 road win over Kootenay. …
Preps: Fridays are always busy during basketball season and yesterday had an extra attraction. The WIAA released its first RPI rankings of the season. Greg Lee has the story. There were a few surprises. … Greg was also at Mt. Spokane’s 48-30 win over Gonzaga Prep in GSL girls action. … We also can pass along roundups from the GSL boys as well as girls and boys action from around the area.
Seahawks: It’s been a tough season, that’s for sure. But now the Hawks, and their offensive line, have a chance to turn it all around. Can they flip the switch and play at their best in the postseason? … The Lions also see today’s game as another chance. … Bobby Wagner earned more AP All-Pro votes than any other player. … The coaching wheel of fortune may stop in Seattle again.
Mariners: Any other day and the M’s two trades from yesterday would fight to lead our column. But not today. Still, the M’s got faster in the outfield and changed starting pitchers yesterday in a couple of surprising deals. Gone are Seth Smith and Nathan Karns. Coming in are speedster Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City and veteran pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
• I have to watch the Zags’ game no matter what. I’m contractually obligated. (Though it’s college basketball, my favorite spectator sport, so I probably would be watching anyway.) What I see – and hear – will be passed along this evening in my TV Take. And we’ll be back tomorrow morning to discuss everything else. Until then …
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