The Washington State basketball team will have the opportunity to continue playing this season as they have accepted a bid to the College Basketball Invitational. They will open the tournament at the University of San Francisco on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on HDnet. The full bracket can be found here.
The CBI consists of 16 teams with loser-out games for the first, second, and third rounds. The championship is a best of three series.
WSU denied the chance to play in this tournament two years ago when Klay Thompson was a sophomore. Ken Bone has spoken about this previously, and basically he says that the team didn't have much to gain from the extra games. He was probably right, as that 2010 Cougar team was getting progressively worse as the season went along, with teams shutting down Thompson and Reggie Moore hitting the freshman wall.
So why is this year different? Well, this team may not be at its peak at the moment, but they are certainly better than they were in December. No complaints here about the possibility to see Brock Motum play more basketball.
As for the opponent, USF finished fifth in the West Coast Conference. They helped end Gonzaga's long WCC title streak with a surprising win over the Zags late in the season. Their next best was probably over Montana. They are currently ranked 136 on KenPom.com. The Dons will likely be a slight favorite thanks to the home advantage. We'll have a more comprehensive preview later.
Not all CBI games are televised, but the ones that are will be on HDNet. HDNet is Mark Cuban's channel that brags about being in "23 million homes." Not every cable package comes with that, and it usually requires spending a little money. You can find out if your cable or satellite package carries it by going to HDNet's website and clicking "subscribe."