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Gonzaga Bulldogs Basketball

We know, we seem to give our friends in local TV news a hard time about how ballistic they can get about the weather. Sure, everybody wants to watch the weather, but isn't it just the same story, over and over again? It gets cold — it might even snow — it starts to get warmer, then it gets hot, then it cools off, and then it gets cold again. Isn't there, we wondered, something better to get so hysterical about? Well, our readers think that thing should be the GU Bulldogs men's hoops team. And our local media did a good job of whipping us into a frenzy over the team's success.

Now that the sting of the Bulldogs' first-round loss has worn off, it's become apparent how monumental a season they had. Who can forget All-American Dan Dickau's 39 points on Feb. 2 vs. Portland — a night when he nailed nine (nine!) three-pointers? Or how about Cory Violette's 20 rebounds against Fresno State's vaunted front line on Dec. 6? Then there were Blake Stepp's huge performances in the last two games of the WCC tournament in San Diego earlier this month.

But another thing has become apparent as team after team has fallen in this NCAA tournament: Out of the 65 teams that start the Big Dance, only one will end the season truly satisfied. So in a lot of ways, how you compete and how you take losing are as big a part of the story as the rare chance for donning those champion T-shirts and jumping around at the end of the final game. After bowing out, the Bulldogs never made any excuses — they congratulated their opponents and accepted defeat. If we're taking lessons from their winning ways, we should also pay attention to their good sportsmanship.

Spokane has always had self-image problems, what with Seattle casting its shadow of hipness and economic well-being over us, but the Bulldogs have helped us feel good about ourselves. If nothing else, sports are inspirational, and beyond spanking 29 teams over the season, Mark Few's kids have offered up a blueprint for success that we would all do well to follow: hard work, graciousness and a refusal to quit all add up to success.

2nd: Potholes; 3rd: Meth

Heartistry: Artistic Wellbeing @ Spark Central

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