"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
It’s an exciting time to be a basketball fan in the great state of Washington — and it has nothing to do with bracket busting, Final Four Fever, March Madness or anything to do with the NCAA tourney.
I mean, who really cares about Louisville versus Kentucky or Ohio State versus Kansas? Really?
I mean, what about Washington State versus Pittsburgh?
The Huskies against the Gophers?
Or, more importantly, WWU versus Montevallo?
(Across most of the country, the sound of crickets …)
We hoops fans came thisclose to a trifecta unseen I think in any sports arena: Our state was nearly home to champions of three national basketball tournaments absolutely no one cares about.
First, Western Washington — my alma mater and the greatest institution of higher learning created — made up for the fact that they cancelled football (not the season, the PROGRAM) by going out and winning the NCAA Division II national men’s basketball championship.
And they did it so quietly! I mean, no one outside of Bellingham noticed these guys went on to win their regional tourney, then knocked off that powerhouse Stonehill (71-66), then, took down the Goliath that is Montevallo! Gracious!
The people of Highland Heights, Kentucky — that’s where the title game was played, no joke — must have been dumbfounded.
In the title game on March 24, five guys (none of them their leading scorer, Rory Blanche) went for double figures and simply bored Montevallo to death. Final score: 72-65.
With the No. 1 seed in the National Invitational Tournament — that pathetic “we like you, but we don’t like-you like you” tourney for NCAA Big Dance rejects — Washington went out and nearly made everyone feel sorry that the NCAA left out of the real Tournament the only major conference regular season champion.
In true Husky fashion, however, UW ruined a perfectly good story by falling flat on their faces in New York, falling to Minnesota 68-67 in overtime.
To complete this three-headed oddity, Washington State plays for the College Basketball Invitational tourney title tomorrow night against Pittsburgh. This tourney gets so little respect that it hosts its title games — yes, there are three — on the competing teams’ home courts. WSU won the first contest 67-66 on Monday, Pittsburgh took the second by a 57-53 tally on Wednesday night, and the clincher is tomorrow.