As the Cougars prepare to take the floor as a ranked team – something that hasn't happened in any of their player's lifetimes – we'll see if there is any extra pressure.
I don't see why. Do the players really think about their team's ranking while the game is going on? My feeling is no.
What should be more of a factor is being on the road. The Cougs' two losses have come away from home, and their biggest wins have come on Friel Court. But even that shouldn't be as big a deal tonight because Cal (10-5, 2-1 in the Pac-10) isn't known for having the greatest home court advantage even when all the kids are in Berkeley. And they aren't right now.
So WSU (14-2, 3-1) gets a break even there. Call it karma, for all of the weird bounces and bad calls that have hit the Cougs over the years in California.
Probably the biggest key for WSU is the play of Derrick Low. He's coming off one of his poorest games of the season against Arizona, and the Cougars can't consistently be successful without their leading scorer delivering, especially from the outside.
Let's see what will happen. My prediction: Ryan Anderson struggles against the Cougars' helping defense, and WSU pulls away late to win.