It’s not Duke-North Carolina, it’s not Washington-Washington
State. For me, it’s more compelling than that.
It’s No. 8 Gonzaga (17-1) vs. No. 13 Butler (15-2), two men’s
basketball programs that symbolize what’s good about college
Saturday’s showdown in Indianapolis (ESPN, 6 p.m.) features a
couple teams that aren’t afraid to take on the big boys, and
they’re not afraid to do it on the road.
Butler’s been to a couple Final Fours, and this could be the
year Gonzaga gets there, partly because of Kelly Olynyk, a mobile
7-footer who is the most improved player in college basketball.
Olynyk’s already had 33- and 31-point games, and has become the
Zags’ best offensive force since Adam Morrison. Figuring he
wouldn’t get much playing time a year ago with Robert Sacre and
Elias Harris up front,
Olynyk decided to redshirst last season.
Here’s an open letter from a Sacramento basketball fan to
SuperSonics’ fans, which
followed a letter from the producers of Sonicsgate to
Sacramento Kings’ fans.
Everybody has an opinion about Lance Armstrong.
Michael Rosenberg of SI.com writes: Without doping, Armstrong
would be a nobody.
Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, author or two books about
Armstrong, says the cyclist has apologized to her. In her most
recent column about Armstrong, published Dec. 15, Jenkins
says she’s not angry at the man who duped the cycling
Rick Reilly of ESPN.com is having a hard time forgiving
Armstrong. He wrote:
It’s partially my fault. I let myself admire him. Let myself
admire what he’d done with his life, admire the way he’d not only
beaten his own cancer but was trying to help others beat it. When
my sister was diagnosed, she read his book and got inspired. And I
felt some pride in that. I let it get personal. And now I know he
was living a lie and I was helping him live it.
The Mariners trade catcher John Jaso and wind up with former
prospect Mike Morse from the Washington Nationals
in a three-team trade
that also involved Oakland. You’ve got to
like Morse’s power (he hit 31 homers in 2011 and 18 during an
injury-plagued 2012), and perhaps this means the M’s will rush 2012
first-round pick Mike
to the majors to share catching duties with Jesus
Montero. I liked Jaso. He was a lefty who hit lefties and was a lot
better behind the plate than advertised. But you get the feeling
that the M’s are going to give Zunino every opportunity to make the
Could Zunino turn out to be the Mariners’ version of Buster
David Letterman on Manti Te’o and the Notre Dame linebacker’s
imaginary girl friend: “Some people are better off with imaginary
The Mariners also made a move in the broadcast booth this
week, hiring 29-year-old
Aaron Goldsmith to be Rick Rizzs’ sidekick
. Nothing against
Goldsmith, who called Pawtucket Red Sox games a year ago, but I was
hoping long-time Tacoma Rainiers announcer Mike Curto would have
gotten the job. But it’s not surprising that the M’s went with a
young guy, somebody who can learn the ropes and be ready to step in
when Rizzs retires.
I’m recently retired, but still writing a weekly Thursday column
for The Sun and doing some other stories. A Q&A with Willie
Bloomquist of the Arizona Diamondbacks, recently named to Team USA
that will play in the World Baseball Classic, will publish on
Sunday, Jan. 27.
In case you missed them, my columns this month have been about
, the former Notre Dame football player now living
in Bremerton and coaching at O’Dea;
, the former Central Kitsap basketball star who was
inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame, and
, WestSound FC soccer coach who was a finalist for US
Youth Soccer’s Competitive Coach of the Year Award.