March Madness: Gonzaga's historic season enters its final phase; plus, the Zags women, WSU women and EWU men go dancing, too

click to enlarge Senior Forward Corey Kispert and Freshman Guard Jalen Suggs - ERICK DOXEY PHOTOS
Erick Doxey photos
Senior Forward Corey Kispert and Freshman Guard Jalen Suggs

F

or some sports fans, this is the most wonderful time of year. Considering March Madness was one of the first casualties of COVID-19 a year ago, the fact it looks like college basketball fans will get to spend the next three weeks wallowing in 12-hour days of hoops viewing is reason to celebrate.

Gonzaga's men's team is the biggest story in the Inland Northwest, perhaps the nation, as they try to complete the first undefeated season ending in a national championship since 1976. But they're not the only local story. Gonzaga's women are on a roll, too, as they head into their tournament, and WSU's women nabbed a bid, too. Eastern Washington University's men are heading to March Madness to take on historic powerhouse Kansas. Meanwhile, Ferris High grad Wayne Tinkle is coach at Oregon State, which made a surprising run to win the Pac-12 conference tournament. And Gonzaga assistant coach Tommy Lloyd's son Liam, a Gonzaga Prep grad, is heading to the Madness, too, playing for Grand Canyon University.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate March Madness in 2021, and you'll find them in the next few pages.

— DAN NAILEN,
Arts & Culture editor

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About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...