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Washington State to face Arizona State, USC in early part of Pac-12 schedule

Washington State's Efe Abogidi (0) dunks against Arizona State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Pac-12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in Las Vegas.  (Associated Press)

Washington State’s basketball team will open the 2021-22 Pac-12 Conference season against the same team that ended the Cougars’ 2020-21 campaign.

Third-year coach Kyle Smith and the Cougars will travel to Tempe, Arizona, for a Dec. 1 game against Bobby Hurley and Arizona State, who bounced WSU from the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament with a 64-59 victory in Las Vegas.

For the second of two early conference games WSU will return home on Dec. 4 to face a USC team that’s coming off a run to an Elite Eight. The Cougars lost both contests to the Trojans last season.

In addition to announcing 12 early conference games, the Pac-12 also unveiled the full 20-game scheduling rotation for every team. Dates and times are still to be determined.

In Smith’s third season, the Cougars will play two games – one home, one road – against ASU, Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Utah and Washington each.

WSU will have to play just one game against UCLA, the team that nearly stunned Gonzaga in last season’s Final Four, and one against Arizona, which will be under the direction of former GU assistant Tommy Lloyd this season. The Cougars will play the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion and will host the Wildcats in Pullman.