It's not the NCAA tournament, it's not even the NIT ... but gosh darn it, it's still basketball. The Cougars are still playing, and that's reason enough for me to get excited.
Craig's got his usual preview (linked above), but I'll give you a little bonus coverage that comes from this week's Cougar Sports Weekly (you can subscribe here -- it's cheap!):
I know people aren't real fired up about this game, but I can honestly say that I think it will be an incredibly entertaining contest to watch if you like scoring. The tempo should be fairly fast, and both teams should make plenty of baskets -- it's likely going to be a close contest. The only thing that might not be aesthetically pleasing is if it somehow turns into a brickfest with both teams having bad shooting nights from the perimeter, but I don't really anticipate that, given that both teams shoot a high percentage from out there and also allow high percentages from out there.
Is this a game WSU should win? The casual fan will say yes, simply because WSU is playing a middling WCC team. But don't underestimate the effect of playing a team in its own gym in its first postseason action since 2005 -- we'd all do well to remember the number St. Mary's put on the Cougs back in 2009 when the Gaels felt they were snubbed by the NCAA tournament committee. The Dons will be fired up to take it to a team from the Pac-12. Will the Cougars match that intensity? My gut tells me no.
We'll see. If you want to know how I feel about this one, take note that I'm going straight to the semi-hard stuff by starting out with the Total Domination IPA.
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