A GRIP ON SPORTS
What is it about Saturday mornings this time of year? If you want to spend your day cleaning out the garage or showshoeing on Mt. Spokane or golfing in Phoenix, don't click the link. By the time you are done, you'll only have enough time to shower, shave and shine your shoes before heading to dinner and a movie. But who really wants to clean the garage? So go ahead and read on.
• Before we get to all that is available to read – and it's pretty eclectic, ranging from Cougar basketball to failed drug tests – we wanted to share some fun we had yesterday. With the Academy Awards coming up Sunday (sharing the spotlight with the NBA All-Star game and the Daytona 500 I might add), the Patchin, Lukens and Osso radio show, of which I have been lucky to be a part of recently, decided to honor the best of sports movies. Not just the best sports movies mind you, but sports movies that stand out in certain ways, like those featuring the best villain or the most outstanding climactic play. You can find the winners here. But before you click, please take a moment and take our poll below. We left the choice of all-time best sports movie to our listeners – after somehow whittling the list of nominees down to a manageable 10. Sure, that left off some worthy candidates like “A League of the Their Own,” “Rudy” and my son's favorite “The Sandlot,” but man, it's tough. There have been so many good sports movies. Anyhow, the listeners made their choice yesterday. I thought it was time to let my readers make theirs. So pick. Then check out our awards.
• Now back to this morning's links. A big reason why there is so much to read is the depth of the state basketball playoffs. From Central Valley's boys qualifying for the 4A tourney, to Northwest Christian headed to the 2Bs again, just about every level of boys play is covered today. Most of the girls bracket games will be played tonight. But the preps, while on centerstage, aren't the entire story. It's also the final home game of the season for Washington State – Senior Night – and the night we find out if Gonzaga can keep its WCC title streak alive. Then there is, as usual this time of year, Mariner, Sounder and Seahawk news.
• Washington State: Christian Caple may have set a S-R record yesterday for most words written in one day, SportsLink blog division. And very few of them concerned today's showdown with Washington directly. He had posts on seniors Charlie Enquist and Abe Lodwick, one on Faisal Aden and another on senior manager Neil Stover, the only manager in my memory who has heard his name chanted in Beasley (and who has two blog posts about him). … Christian, who profiled Marcus Capers on Thursday, also has a story in today's S-R about the senior group. … As for tonight's game, Christian has this morning's blog post, with all the links. … Pretty big Pac-12 football news yesterday, what with Oregon releasing some information on the NCAA investigation and ESPN.com's Ted Miller listing Marquess Wilson at No. 13 on his top 25 Pac-12 players to watch list (ya, unlucky 13; he had to pick a Cougar 13th, right?). … Miller also has some stats to pass along concerning Jeff Tuel, Connor Halliday and Mike Leach's quarterback history. … And Miller opens his mailbag.
• Gonzaga: No matter what the Bulldogs do tonight in San Diego, they are locked into the second seed in the WCC tourney, thanks to the tiebreaker criteria. Jim Meehan explains it all in his blog post from yesterday and his story in this morning's S-R. … If USF can find a way to upset St. Mary's, however, and GU defeats USD, then the Zags will grab a piece of the WCC crown for the 12th consecutive year. … BYU's seniors were hurt by the Gonzaga defeat.
• Idaho: After a nice start, the Vandals sort of lost it over the final 25 minutes and ended up being trounced at Utah State last night, losing 67-50. Josh Wright has the particulars in this blog post and story. … It was a much needed win for the Aggies and their seniors.
• Eastern Washington: The Eagles travel to Portland State tonight for a game that means little more than pride. The big one comes Tuesday, when they host Idaho State, as Jim Allen explains in this story.
• Preps: OK, where to begin? Or how to divide up all the coverage? We'll do the basketball this way, with the 4A story here, the 3A (as U-Hi moved on to state) here, the 2A coverage here, the 1A and finally, the 1B (that division has two stories) and 2B. … We also have coverage of the Idaho state wrestling tournament and the Coeur d'Alene boys win over Lake City.
• Chiefs: One thing you can say about the WHL. It's not made up of just Canadian farm boys and American skaters. Jess Brown features one of the Chiefs who came from a long way away. … Portland handled the Chiefs last night in Portland.
• Mariners: Seattle held an intrasquad scrimmage yesterday and the young arms were the center of attention. … No matter what the Brewer players feel, Ryan Braun is going to have a cloud over his head for a while. But it's all the media's fault for not keeping it secret.
• That's our report for this morning. Until later …