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by Inlander Staff

Against the Odds -- It's hard to believe it now, but at one time the GU Bulldogs were seen as an obscure little team from an obscure little Jesuit school, whose only prior claims to fame were crooner Bing Crosby and NBA star John Stockton. Those days, of course, are long gone. Seattle Times sportswriter Bud Withers chronicles the Bulldogs' dizzying rise to power in his new book BraveHearts: The Against-All-Odds Rise of Gonzaga Basketball. Withers covers the team's trip to the NCAA's Elite Eight in 1999, how they've been underdog favorites in both Sweet 16 seasons and most of all, how an unusually strong work ethic and sense of teamwork permeate the Bulldogs. Looking for a good Christmas gift for Dad? The GU Bookstore just might have the answer to your prayers.

Lady Eagles Grounded -- The NCAA allegedly stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Judging from the NCAA's decision to leave Eastern Washington out of the Division I Women's Volleyball Championships, it seems appropriate at this time to change the NCAA's name to Nationally Corrupt And Asinine.

Yep, 64 teams in the country were deemed more deserving than the Eagles. Never mind that Eastern is ranked 18th. Never mind that Eastern's only two losses came against perennially tough Sacramento State. Never mind that 33 at-large teams made the tournament. Never mind that the field includes such household names as Cal Poly (15-12), Winthrop (28-10), Tennessee-Martin (24-5) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (20-13).

If we didn't know better, we'd accuse the NCAA of doing something as stupid as, say, determining the national football champs without a playoff.

Still, congrats are in order for an unforgettable season. Cheers!

What'll They Think of Next -- It sounds like an advertising scenario from the '70s: "You dropped your Twinkie in my deep fat fryer!" "Your deep fat fryer ate my Twinkie!" "Two great tastes that taste great together!"

We thought Deep Fried Twinkies were merely fodder for Thanksgiving dinner conversation, but our source kept insisting that not only do they exist, they're sweeping the nation. They got their start at the Park Slope Chip Shop in Brooklyn and quickly became a hit at state fairs. And now, the Deep Fried Twinkie has arrived in Spokane.

The Top Notch Caf & eacute; (825 N. Monroe) sells these trans-fatty acid-laden little numbers, as well as their chocolatey kin, the Hostess Cupcake. The snack cakes are chilled, dipped in batter and then thrown into the ol' fry basket. "Their consistency changes. The inside kind of melts into the cake, and the outside gets crispy," a representative of the Top Notch explains. We think we'll order ours with a side of angioplasty!

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