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WSU will take on Nebraska to open Cayman Islands Classic

The Cougs will play either George Mason or Old Dominion in game two.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

We now know at least one of the nonconference opponents for Kyle Smith in his first year in charge: the Washington State Cougars will play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the opening round of the Cayman Islands Classic on Nov. 25. WSU’s participation in the holiday tournament was announced in early May.

It’s an intriguing matchup between a pair of teams with new coaches — Cornhuskers athletics director Bill Moos used all that Big Ten money to hire former Iowa State Cyclones and Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.

There’s no doubt it’ll be a tough test for WSU; Nebraska missed the NCAA tournament last season and won just 19 games overall, but the Cornhuskers were ranked 47th by the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings. Just like his counterpart in Pullman, Hoiberg has overseen a lot of roster turnover — he’s brought in a slew of transfers while also watching half a dozen players leave.

WSU will face either the Old Dominion Monarchs or the George Mason Patriots in the second round, depending on results. One can only hope that George Mason is bringing The Green Machine with them.

Other tournament participants they could face later on include the New Mexico State Aggies, Colorado State Rams, Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, and South Florida Bulls. Here’s the full bracket: