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HCA: Cougar Basketball prepares for Pac-12 Tournament

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The season is on the line in Las Vegas... What could go wrong?

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Championship week is here in college basketball and hope springs eternal. Technically speaking, Washington State still has a chance at the NCAA Tournament. And all they have to do is win four in a row starting with the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament tonight.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

  • The Cougs haven’t won four games in a row since November of 2017.
  • They’ve only won five Pac-12 Tournament games in the history of the event.
  • Their last Pac-12 Tournament win was two months into the Obama administration in March of 2009.
  • Westgate gives WSU 100-1 odds to win the crown in Vegas, tied for the worst in the field.

But, in the immortal words of Lloyd Christmas, “so, you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

And the Cougs are going to take that chance this week at the T-Mobile Arena is Las Vegas. It all starts tonight with first round action action Oregon.

The Ducks are going to be a tough one tonight for the Cougs, mainly because they may still have Tournament dreams to play for. Some projections have the Ducks firmly on the bubble, thanks in part to their four game win streak to end the season. While a win over WSU likely won’t be enough, a deep run with wins over Utah and ASU in the next two round, just might do the trick.

As for the Cougs, they come limping into the Tourney. They’ve lost five straight and have been hampered by injuries, but on the court, the biggest issue has been turnovers. Over their five game skid, the Cougs have committed 80 turnovers, leading to 111 points.

These two teams met last year, in the same 11 vs. 6 matchup in the first round. That year, the Cougs nearly pulled off the upset. WSU took a 24-17 at half, only to see the Ducks rally to tie the game in regulation, and force overtime on their way to a 64-62 win. In fact, this is the sixth meeting between the squads over the past two years.

The 2019 version of the game tips off tonight at (about) 8:30 on the Pac-12 Network. Ted Robinson and the great Bill Walton will be the call.

Pac-12 Tournament: No. 11 Washington State eyes first conference tournament win in a decade against No. 6 Oregon | The Spokesman-Review
When all the seeding chaos finally settled late Saturday night, and Pac-12 Tournament sorted out who’d playing who in Wednesday’s first-round games at T-Mobile Arena, the conference spit out a familiar matchup for the teams positioned in sixth and 11th places.

Washington State’s Jeff Pollard named to Pac-12 All-Academic First Team for second straight year | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State’s Jeff Pollard was one of six players named to the All-Pac-12 Men’s Basketball All-Academic First Team, the conference announced Tuesday.

Robert Franks Earns USBWA All-District Honors - Washington State University Athletics
The honor is the second this week for the Cougar senior.

Baseball

Cougars Fall to UNLV in Series-Opener - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State dropped the opener of its two-game set with UNLV, 17-3 in seven innings at Earl E. Wilson Stadium Wednesday evening.

Football

The Pac-12’s Seasons From Hell Just Won’t End - The Ringer
Are the conference’s ongoing football and men’s basketball struggles a fluke? Or is something else responsible for the repeated recent failures of Larry Scott’s league?