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Could WSU play its way into a CBI bid?

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WSU will play its final regular season homestand this week, but maybe not its final of the year.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When WSU struggled through its non-conference slate, it seemed as if any chances of the Cougars playing in a postseason tournament evaporated before the calendar even hit January. The Cougars haven't exactly stormed up the standings since then, but have played better and possibly well enough to position themselves for a shot at the CBI.

Jacob Thorpe brought up the idea on Wednesday and did a little background on WSU's chances:

The other "Power Conference" teams to participate in recent years are typically right around .500 overall and a game or two below that in conference play. If the Cougars were to split their remaining two games, their resume would be on the low end of what's typical but not markedly so.

A couple of recent teams have received CBI bids with lesser resumes, but WSU currently falls short of those as well. A split this week seems like a necessity and the Cougars may even need a win in the Pac-12 Tournament to have a shot. Depending on how things shake out this week, the Cougars are likely looking at a first-round matchup with Arizona State, Colorado or California. WSU has wins against ASU and Cal already and hosts the Buffaloes this week. A pair of wins would get WSU to 14-18 on the season and 7-11 in Pac-12 play, maybe just enough to get into the CBI, especially if WSU is willing to pay while others aren't.

Now you could make a strong argument that playing for all the Zebra Pens again doesn't mean much. In the grand scheme of college basketball postseason, it doesn't. But, those extra practices and game(s) can only help WSU going forward. Ernie Kent talked on Wednesday about the underclassmen stepping into leadership roles during the final three games on the schedule. Another contest or two could help that development. It would also be an additional opportunity to watch DaVonte Lacy and the other seniors. Lacy has a pretty good chance to pass Brock Motum for No. 5 on the all-time scoring list and a game or two in the CBI would almost assuredly move him past Don Collins for No. 4 all-time.

If the Cougars can play their way in, would you want to see them in the CBI?

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Men's basketball:

Morning links: Is WSU playing for the postseason? | The Spokesman-Review
It's no guarantee that the Cougars get an invite of course, and looking back at the last few CBI brackets it seems unlikely but not impossible for WSU to receive a bid. The other "Power Conference" teams to participate in recent years are typically right around .500 overall and a game or two below that in conference play. If the Cougars were to split their remaining two games, their resume would be on the low end of what's typical but not markedly so.

Utah-Washington St. Preview | FOX Sports
Utah point guard Brandon Taylor woke up Sunday morning and realized his nightmare was no bad dream. The Utes had spent the previous four months, not including the offseason, working toward a Pac-12 regular-season title and watched it slip through their fingers during an eight-minute span.

Ernie Kent Q&A: underclassmen taking the reins | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State's seniors have at least three more games to play but the torch passing has already begun, according to Ernie Kent.

Pac-12 Men's Basketball Power Rankings: Week 10 - California Golden Blogs
9. Washington State

Utes begin final road swing at Washington State | Deseret News
Utah hits the road this week to take what head coach Larry Krystkowiak calls the “next step” following last Saturday’s 63-57 loss to Arizona. The 13th-ranked Utes close out the regular season with games at Washington State Thursday (9 p.m., ESPNU) and Washington Saturday (2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Women's basketball:

Media Selects Galdeira to All-Pac-12, All-Defensive Teams - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State junior guard Lia Galdeira was selected to the All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive Teams by the Pac-12 media, commissioner Larry Scott announced Wednesday.

Football:

Signed And Sealed Sykes Ready For Visit - Arkansas - Scout
“I thought Washington State was where I was going to end up, but some things went down there and Coach Simmons left and then Nebraska entered the picture,” Sykes said.

Baseball:

Cougars Host Sacred Heart in Four-Game Series - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State Baseball (7-5) returns to Bailey-Brayton Field, with the latter half of an eight game homestand squaring off against Sacred Heart (0-4) Mar. 5-8…Game times are set for 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m., Saturday, and noon, Sunday