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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

March 21, 2012 at 7:52 AM

Pac-12 postseason update (such as it is)

Well, it’s not what any of them had in mind, but four Pac-12 basketball teams are still kicking in the post-season — Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State. An update on what’s happened and what’s ahead:

Oregon State

Tournament: College Basketball Invitational.

Next up: Beavers (21-14) host Washington State (17-16) Wednesday night at 7. The winner then begins a best two-of-three series with the winner of the Butler-Pittsburgh game (also Wednesday night). That series starts next Monday.

So far: OSU has beaten Western Illinois 80-59, overcoming 23 turnovers with a 15-of-26 combined shooting night from guards Jared Cunningham and Ahmad Starks for 38 points. Then the Beavers outscored Texas Christian, 101-81, shooting 65 percent. Cunningham and big men Angus Brandt and Devon Collier were a combined 26 of 32 from the floor for 68 points.

Notable: It’s OSU’s best offensive season in school history, as the Beavers are scoring 79.6 points a game, No. 9 in the country . . . this is the fourth meeting of the season between OSU and WSU, with the Cougars having won the first two and OSU prevailing in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament . . . Beavers won the CBI in Craig Robinson’s initial season in 2009.

What’s in it for them: Beavers have only one senior on the roster, so the inexperience is worthwhile. But it’s uncertain whether Cunningham ducks out early for the NBA.

How it’s drawn: Not well. In two home games, OSU has attracted only 1,931 and 2,315 fans.

Stanford

Tournament: National Invitation.

Next up: Cardinal (23-11), a No. 3 seed in its bracket of the NIT, hosts Nevada (28-6) Wednesday night at 6, with a trip to the New York semifinals at stake against Massachusetts (25-11), which overcame a 17-point second-half deficit to beat Drexel Tuesday night.

So far: Guard Anthony Brown had 15 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists for the Cardinal as they ousted Cleveland State of the Horizon League in their opener. Then Bellevue High product Aaron Bright went off against Illinois State with a career-high 29 points to go with six assists, as Stanford won in overtime, 92-88. The Redbirds were only 12 of 32 on two-point shots, but 15 of 30 on threes and they hit 19 of 21 free throws.

Notable: Bright went 6 of 7 from three-point range against ISU, and Stanford had an astonishing 53-3 edge in bench points . . . Stanford is trying to become only the fourth team to take part in both the preseason and post-season NIT in New York.

What’s in it for them: The run could be valuable, as Stanford has four seniors, but only one (forward Josh Owens) is among the top seven Cardinal scorers.

How it’s drawn: Like flies. Stanford pulled in 1,339 for Cleveland State and 1,781 for Illinois State.

Washington

Tournament: National Invitation.

Next up: Next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, Huskies get the winner of Wednesday night’s (4 p.m. PDT) matchup between Minnesota and Middle Tennessee State.

So far: UW has played three home games. In the opener, an 82-72 win over Texas-Arlington, Terrence Ross scored 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and Huskies shot 57.4 percent. In the second round, Ross had 32 as Washington broke away from Northwestern, 76-55. Tuesday night in a stirring quarterfinal game, the UW committed only eight turnovers and Ross and Tony Wroten combined for 46 points to help beat Oregon, 90-86.

Notable: If Stanford makes it, it would be two teams returning to New York, as the Huskies ventured there in early December, losing to Marquette and Duke . . . there were only 15 turnovers combined in the Oregon game.

What’s in it for them: There’s always an NIT-title possibility, but it might only be a swan song for NBA prospects Ross and Wroten.

How it’s drawn: Progressively better. Huskies attracted only 2,801 on short notice for Texas-Arlington, bumped that to 5,761 for Northwestern, and the rouser against Oregon was witnessed by 9,140.

Washington State

Tournament: CBI.

Next up: At Oregon State, Wednesday night at 7.

So far: Cougars got 24 points from Brock Motum and 18 from Reggie Moore (including 12 of 13 free throws) to down San Francisco on the road, 89-75. They hit a sizzling 60.4 percent from the field and 25 of 28 from the foul line. Motum had another 25 and forward Abe Lodwick a career-high 16 as WSU beat Wyoming, 61-41, at Friel Court.

Notable: Cougars have allowed only .362 and .356 shooting, respectively, in the two CBI games, but will be tested by OSU’s prolific offense . . . In the Wyoming game, Cowboy Larry Nance Jr. was ejected after two technicals following a foul call. Afterward, Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said, “I think we should just compliment Washington State because it’s the right thing to do, and my wife would kill me if I said what was on my mind now anyways.”

What’s in it for them: WSU has four seniors (three available), but a heavy cast of underclassmen who could benefit from the extra games.

How it’s drawn: Terribly at USF (1,277), somewhat better (3,019) for Wyoming.

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