After Arizona was picked apart by top-seed Louisville last night, only one team remains in the Pac-10 conference: The Oregon State Beavers.
Whether you're in favor of the CBI or not, you've gotta applaud the effort of Craig Robinson and his team this season. They've taken literally every opportunity possible and done something with it, whether it be two polar opposite games versus Howard, a regular season sweep of the Bay Area Schools, or a bid to the CBI that has the Beavers playing into the month of April.
I'm getting tired of the anti-CBI crowd out there.... it's extra playing time, extra experience, and a better end to the season. Look at the way Oregon State ended the regular season: losses to Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Stanford in the Pac-10 tournament. The team was better than that stretech-- everybody knew that. This was the same Oregon State team that beat NCAA teams in Cal (twice), Stanford (twice), and USC. And look at the opportunity the CBI has given the Beavers-- three more games-- so far-- all of which have given the team an opportunity to finish the season on a better note.
Plus, if you look at where this team was exactly a year ago, it's ridiculous. You couldn't have expected this team, with most of the same players, to get an NCAA bid. So why are you holding the CBI bid against them? You can bet that the team is proud to be playing in the postseason, regardless of the name of the tournament. Last year, the Beavers didn't win a single Pac-10 game.
It may be the third-string tournament, but it's a tournament, and the Beavers are gaining valuable experience and confidence, while most other programs have turned in their uniforms and begun the offseason. The level of competition might not be the same that the Beavers faced in the Pac-10 season, but the Beavers are playing competitive basketball against similarly-skilled opponents. What more can you ask for?
Here's a look at how the Pac-10 teams fared in the post-season, sorted by elimination date:
Here are the sixteen teams still playing in post-season tournaments as of today:
|Lousiville||San Diego State||Oregon State||Old Dominion|
Sure, the Beavers aren't in the left-hand column, but it's better than not being on the chart at all, right?
You can only expect a team to take advantages of all the opportunities given to them to improve and get better. And that's exactly what the Beavers are doing. So lay off.