Washington State learns Pac-12 basketball pairings

Washington State head basketball coach Ernie Kent, center left, talks to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Eugene, Ore. (Chris Pietsch / AP)
PULLMAN - Washington State will play three consecutive road games in Pac-12 Conference play before returning to Beasley Coliseum, the Cougars learned Monday when the league released its 2019 pairings and site designations. Dates and times haven’t been released yet, but the Cougars know they’ll open conference play against rival Washington in Seattle during opening week, which is slated for Jan. 2-6. WSU follows with the always-harrowing “mountains” trip against Colorado and Utah, who’ve posted 10 straight home wins over the Cougars since joining the Pac-12. Things should lighten up for WSU the week of Jan. 16-20 when Cal and Stanford - neither team projected to finish high in the conference standings - make their visit to Pullman. The Cougars are back on the road to play Oregon and Oregon State from Jan. 23-27, then return to Pullman to host USC and UCLA Jan. 30-Feb. 3. WSU won’t make the return trip to Los Angeles for the first time since 2014, but they will make their first trip to the Arizona desert in two years when they visit reigning conference champ Arizona and Arizona State the week of Feb. 6-10. The Huskies make the return trip to Pullman the following week and WSU will spend another week on the Palouse from Feb. 20-24 when its hosts the Buffaloes and Utes. WSU will visit the Bay Area schools the week of Feb. 27-March 3, then close out regular season play at home by hosting Oregon and Oregon State before traveling to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the conference tournament, which takes place March 13-16. Specific times and dates for games will be announced later this summer when the league’s television partners are finalized. All 108 conference games will air on the Pac-12 Network, ESPN/2/U, FOX/FS1 or CBS.