It’s a late start for the Washington State Cougars and Oklahoma State Cowboys on Monday night, but the game should be well worth the wait. The subplots are broad-ranging and the stakes are high for both teams as each looks to prolong its season and move one step closer to Madison Square Garden and the NIT Final Four. As an added bonus, the winner of Monday night’s game will play at home in the next round after Northwestern knocked off Boston College earlier in the week, leaving the Cougs and Cowboys as the highest-seeded teams left in their NIT region.
You’ll have to forgive Washington State fans if they have revenge on the mind going into Monday night’s NIT game. You see, back in 2004, the last time these two teams met, the Washington State program was in a vastly different state. With Dick Bennett at the helm, the Cougars took a beating that can only be described as embarrassing — Oklahoma State whipped the Cougars, 81-25, in Stillwater. So while it may not mean much to the players — none of whom were on the roster — the fans are hoping for a little revenge on Monday night.
Tonight, in a game only those of us on the West Coast can see, the Cougars get a chance at revenge and Washington State fans get one more chance to see Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, both of whom are facing uncertain futures with the program. It all gets started at 8:30 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum on ESPN2.
Check back with our 2011 NIT StoryStream for more on the tournament. For more on Washington State’s game, head on over to SB Nation’s CougCenter.