I have been very critical of The Seattle Times in the past for its coverage of national stories. Actually, I have applauded them for using wire coverage rather than wasting resources on stories where they can't compete. The NCAA tournament is certainly a national story, but their coverage has been excellent thus far.

Most of their coverage has focused around Gonzaga. On Thursday night they had a very good article about the near upset that the Zags had against 16 seeded Southern. Gonzaga, a Jesuit school from the other side of Cascade Mountains in Spokane, Washington. Even though the school is far away from Seattle, its recent basketball success has made it a favorite among Pacific Northwest college basketball fans, and thus a coverage favorite.

The school also locked down its first 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. It is also the highest seeding for a team from the state of Washington since the University of Washington– colloquially known as U-Dub – was a 1 seed in the 2005 NCAA tournament. Unfortunately for Gonzaga fans, people from Washington, and anyone who had the Zags going far in the tournament, the Zags lost to mighty Wichita State on Saturday. Bud Withers had a great lede in his story about the loss yesterday. Actually most of Wither's writing ha been excellent thus far in the tournament.

Mr. Withers stories withstanding, The Times coverage has had its faults. I talked in my last post about their use of video, or lack thereof. Those faults have continued, despite the criticism's of this world renowned media critic. It draws me away from the story I am reading every time I go and click on a video. Very frustrating. They also have not had their own writers covering the other games. They have had AP stories on other big games, though.

I would be remiss if i wrote a blog post about college basketball and didn't mention Marquette University advancing to the Sweet 16 for a third year in a row with their win over Butler.

All problems aside I have really enjoyed The Times' coverage of the tourney this year. It has been well put together, and like any other Times coverage of an event, the writing has been excellent. It seems to me that the Times writers really pride themselves on their prose. As a journalist that makes me very fond of them.

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