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Sports >  WSU basketball

CBI canceled due to coronavirus, diminishing Washington State’s chance of postseason berth

UPDATED: Wed., March 11, 2020

Washington State forward Jeff Pollard, center, greets teammates as he walks on to the court during a senior night ceremony before an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford in Pullman, Wash., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Young Kwak / AP)
Washington State forward Jeff Pollard, center, greets teammates as he walks on to the court during a senior night ceremony before an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford in Pullman, Wash., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Young Kwak / AP)

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Unless Washington State can win four games in Las Vegas, the Cougars’ 2019-20 basketball season will presumably end this week at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.

The College Basketball Invitational announced Wednesday it would be canceling this year’s postseason tournament amid “uncertainty about the coronavirus.”

After a home win over Washington on Feb. 9, Cougars coach Kyle Smith told reporters his team had received an invitation to the CBI, a third-tier postseason tournament that invites teams who don’t qualify for the NCAA or NIT.

“As colleges and universities are making difficult and complex health and risk management decisions about conducting sporting events, it became apparent to us that this was the most prudent course of action,” the CBI statement read.

WSU could still qualify for the postseason by claiming the Pac-12’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament this week in Las Vegas, though the Cougars are seeded No. 11 and aiming to win a single game at the conference tournament for the first time since 2009.

The Cougars (15-16) play Colorado (21-10) in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament tonight at 8:30 at T-Mobile Arena.

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