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Cougs earn slot on NCAA dance card

PULLMAN – For the first time since 1994, the Washington State Cougars will be participating in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

The Cougars were selected as the No. 3 seed in the East Region and will play No. 14 seed Oral Roberts in a first round game at Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 15. Tip time is slated for 11:40 a.m. Pacific.

“A lot of us came here because we wanted to turn this program around and be a part of something special; and to finally do something special like getting invited to the NCAA Tournament is an amazing feeling of accomplishment,” Derrick Low said.

The winner of the WSU-Oral Roberts game will play the winner of the Vanderbilt-George Washington game, Saturday, March 17.

The third seed is the highest for the Cougars in an NCAA Tournament. WSU was a No. 5 seed in 1980.

WSU was one of six Pacific-10 Conference teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament (UCLA, Oregon, USC, Arizona and Stanford). The only conference sending more teams is the ACC with seven.

“It was pretty special to see our name called,” WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett said. “We knew we were in but it still makes your heart race a little bit; you are just wondering who you are playing and where you are playing.

“I was glad the Pac-10 got six teams in,” Bennett added. “They rewarded our year in the Pac-10 to get that good of a seed.”

The Cougar head in to the tournament with a 25-7 record. The 25 wins matches the total from the 1917 national championship team (25-1) and is just one shy from the school record total by the 1941 team that finished as national runner-up (26-6).

This will mark the Cougars’ fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament. The program’s four previous trips occurred in 1941, 1980, 1983 and 1994.

Check back to wsucougars.com to follow the Cougars throughout the NCAA Tournament. 

See related news articles at: 

* The Seattle Times — Cougars’ dreams come true, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003613848_withers120.html

* The Seattle Times — Cougars get a No. 3 seed, will face Oral Roberts, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/cougars/2003611818_webcollegehoops11.html

* The Seattle Times — These Cougars are cool, so Bennett should stay, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/cougars/2003611309_kelley10.html

* The Seattle PI — After 13 years away, Cougars excited to be back in the Dance, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/cbasketball/307085_coug12.html

* Cougar Athletics — 1941 Cougars: One Of The Greatest, ttp://wsucougars.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/031107aae.html

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