UPDATE: Cougs are a No. 2 seed and will face Long Beach State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. We'll be along with more in a bit, but for now, check out to SB Nation Seattle for more.
Now that it's official that WSU won't be included in the NCAA Tournament, we turn our attention to the NIT, for which the Cougars are expected to be selected with a fairly high seed. The 32-team field will be announced on ESPNU at 6 p.m. PDT. Consider this your open thread.
This guy, who I remember does a great job with NIT-ology after following it a couple of year's ago when the Cougs were in the field, projects WSU as a No. 2 seed. If that's correct, the Cougars will be in line to host a game in the tournament's first round. If that's the case, The Spokesman-Review's Vince Grippi reports WSU will indeed host the game, despite the students being out of town.
Additionally, Grippi speculated a bit on who WSU's first round opponent might be:
With Long Beach State losing the Big West title game to UCSB last night, my guess is the 49ers will be sent north to play the Cougars. Not only should it be a good game, it would also be former Gonzaga coach Dan Monson's return to the Inland Northwest, and that should help the gate some.
Location plays a huge part in NIT seeding, so keeping the 49ers on the west coast would make a lot of sense. It also would fall in line with NIT-ology's projection of LBSU as a No. 7 seed. However, St. Mary's is also projected as a No. 2 seed, and it would make sense for LBSU to stay in California -- as NIT-ology projects.
If you're wondering who NIT-ology projects for us, it's Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Interesting thing about the NIT? A quirk in the rules initiated when the NCAA took control of the NIT mandates that any team that wins its regular season conference title and does not receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament must automatically receive a bid to the NIT. This year, that's going to be almost half the field -- 14 teams, to be exact. To me, this actually makes the NIT infinitely more interesting.
We'll be back after the show with some instant analysis on the Cougs' first round opponent.