Cougs settle for NIT date with Long Beach State

Washington State willopen NIT play with Big West Champion Long Beach State on Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman. AP

Big West champion 49ers to visit Pullman on Wednesday

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Members of the Washington State men’s basketball team weren’t about to spin their wheels. They presumably knew the hand that was going to be dealt.

So, to no surprise, there wasn’t an utterance of the Cougars by CBS’ Greg Gumbel during Sunday afternoon’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show.

A couple of hours later, though, the Cougars got the postseason nod they expected — it just wasn’t the illustrious tournament they had been aiming for.

The NIT selection committee gave WSU (19-12) a No. 2 seed in the 32-team tournament where the Cougars will play host to Long Beach State on Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

This is the second time in three seasons WSU has been invited to the NIT. The Cougars opened the 2009 NIT at St. Mary’s but were bounced in the first round.

“It’s an honor to be invited to the NIT,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said. “There’s a lot of tradition.”

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