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WSU Men's Basketball
Sports >  WSU basketball

Washington State declines CBI invite, ends 2020-21 season with 14-13 record

UPDATED: Sun., March 14, 2021

Washington State head coach Kyle Smith during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona State, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz.   (Associated Press)
Washington State head coach Kyle Smith during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona State, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz.  (Associated Press)

After losing to Arizona State on Wednesday in the Pac-12 Tournament, Washington State coach Kyle Smith expressed interest in the opportunity to take his basketball team to the postseason – be it in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) or College Basketball Invitational (CBI). 

Upon reconsideration, the Cougars have elected to end their 2020-21 season, declining an invitation to the eight-team CBI in Daytona Beach, Florida, a school official confirmed on Sunday.

By doing so, WSU officially finishes its season with an overall record of 14-13. It’s the program’s first winning record since 2011-12, when Ken Bone’s Cougars finished 19-18 after a six-game run in the CBI. WSU went 14-12 in the regular season, clinching the school’s first winning regular-season record since 2010-11.

WSU’s reasons for declining a CBI invitation were unclear, but the event uses a pay-to-play format and participants have traditionally paid $50,000 just to book a spot in the field. The CBI is usually a 16-team event, with schools hosting games on campus sites, but the field was trimmed in 2021 and the tournament will be played at a single site in Daytona Beach.

During Kyle Smith’s first season, the Cougars received a CBI invitation well before playing in the Pac-12 Tournament, but the event was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cougars haven’t played in any type of postseason tournament since the 2011-12 season. 

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