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In a division filled with slick young coaches who have been bringing new wrinkles to the X’s and O’s – and fewer wrinkles everywhere else – just look who is sitting at the top, looking down at the whippersnappers.
Right at the top, let's turn it over to Geno Crandall, whose insight and perspective might be the only thing the Gonzaga Bulldogs haven't replaced in their lineup since his departure in 2019.
CBS didn’t get to broadcast a scheduled early season showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and second-ranked Baylor after COVID-19 intervened. The network’s make-good? The Zags’ 98-75 rout of 16th-ranked Virginia.
So who agrees to play the No. 1 team in the country not just once, but twice – on back-to-back nights?
There was probably no one in the McCarthey Athletic Center who really thought Northwestern State had any chance to upset No. 1 Gonzaga on Monday night. The Demons didn’t, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 95-57 victory.
The American West is the land that college football forgot this year, so in these parts any outrage over the post-season matchmaking that screwed Cincinnati and indulged the fraud that is Notre Dame – among other things – has been muted.
But it's not where the fun stops, you know – and exhibit A, as opposed to the fourth option, is Joel Ayayi.
The top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs finally appeared on your television again Saturday morning, though it wasn’t against second-ranked Baylor. Nope, it was No. 3 Iowa and the Hawkeye’s consensus preseason player of the year Luka Garza.
Sustaining a basketball season until the denouement in March seems so distant and iffy at the moment that there's a hyperfocus on daily developments – both the factual and the fantastic. We can thank the Zags for delivering.
“Grandpa, our robot teacher assigned us to study the year 2020, since it’s the 50-year anniversary. Will you help me? I have so many questions.”
And that's the ballgame. At least, it should be.
This is the golden age of conspiracy theories, of course. And it’s only natural, in these fraught times, that they’ve filtered down to sports. (And yes, I know the tin-hat brigade has been around forever, but there’s a mean-spiritedness these days that is both new and troubling.)
Sports are supposed to be a pleasant distraction.
It took Washington State to make a USC quarterback look good on a Sunday.
USC has plastered Washington State a few times over the years, but not in the past decade. Until Sunday night, when the Cougars ventured into the Coliseum without four of their top eight defensive backs due to the same reason they hadn’t played in nearly a month.
Most times it is really cool to be “in the know.” Other times, not so much. Saturday morning belongs with the latter.
You may have heard. Gonzaga's got guys
If you believe college basketball, circa, 2020, is basically an emotion-filled TV show, top-ranked Gonzaga’s 87-82 win over West Virginia should help cement that conviction.
There have been times this year when it seemed as though attempting a season wasn’t worth the trouble. Week after week there is a COVID-related cancellation that keeps the conference in a perpetual state of uncertainty.
SEATTLE – When Jake Gustafson, the senior director of operations and development at Seattle Children’s Hospital, approached a cross-section of local celebrities about participating in a Topps trading-card project he had brainstormed, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.