Oregon St.'s Jared Cunningham had 21 points in the Beavers' last CBI game, also at Gill Coliseum, back in 2010, a 96-78 loss to Boston University. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Oregon St. will host the Western Illinois Leathernecks Wednesday at 7 PM PDT at Gill Coliseum in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational Tournament. The game will be televised on the HD Net, as was the case with previous CBI appearances. Limited availability varies with your satellite service and package. Tickets go on sale Monday at noon.
The Beavers (19-14, 7-11) join Washington St. (15-16,7-11) in the CBI, as 8 Pac-12 teams will be going to the postseason.
Western Illinois (18-14, 9-9) finished fourth in the Summit League, but advanced to their league tournament championship game, with wins over North Dakota St. and regular season champion Oral Roberts. The Leathernecks were a basket away from an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, losing to South Dakota St. 52-50 in overtime.
Pac-12 fans will recall that those Jackrabbits defeated Washington 92-73 in Seattle, which is one of the reasons the Huskies, regular season champions of the Pac-12, had to resort to their automatic bid to the NIT after the Beavers beat them 86-84 in the Pac-12 tournament.
Should the Beavers beat Western Illinois, they will meet the winner of Tuesday's Milwaukie-TCU game on Monday, March 19.
Washington St. opens at San Francisco (20-13, 8-8) from the West Coast Conference, which sent 3 teams, St. Mary's, Gonzaga, and BYU to the NCAA tournament.
If the Cougs prevail, their next opponent would be the winner of the North Dakota St.-Wyoming game.
Butler, who reached the NCAA Championship game the last 2 years, is also in this year's CBI Tournament.
Colorado (23-11, 11-7) earned the Pac-12's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the conference tournament with a 53-51 win over Arizona that knocked the Wildcats out of the NCAA picture, and are headed to Albuquerque, NM, as an 11 seed to face UNLV (26-8, 9-5 in the Mt. West) Thursday.
In the "small word" department, the Buffs could face SD St. Saturday should the Jackrabbits upset Baylor.
Arizona, of course, beat Oregon St. 72-61 Friday in the Pac-12 Tournament, effectively bumping the Beavers down to the CBI from the NIT.
The only other Pac-12 team to get to the NCAA Tournament is California (24-9, 13-5), and the Golden Bears will have to play in one of the 4 "play in" games, facing South Florida (20-13, 12-6) Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio. The Bulls finished 5th in the Big East.
Washington (21-10, 14-4) and Arizona (23-11, 12-6) both received top seeds in the NIT. The Huskies will host Texas-Arlington (24-8, 15-1) Tuesday. The Mavericks were the West Division champions of the Southland Conference.
The 'Cats will host Bucknell (24-9, 12-2) Wednesday in Tucson. The Bison were the regular season champions of the Patriot League, and like Washington, are an automatic entry into the NIT after losing in their league tournament, and subsequently being snubbed by the NCAA.
Oregon (22-9, 13-5) and Stanford (21-11,10-8) are also going NIting with #3 seeds, with the Ducks hosting the LSU Tigers (18-14, 7-9 in the SEC) Tuesday, and the Cardinal host the Cleveland St. Vikings (22-10, 12-6 in the Horizon League), also on Tuesday.
UCLA was left out of all post-season action even though they had a 19-14 record, and an 11-7 Pac-12 mark.