The Washington State Cougars are far from a Cinderella story… for now. But I do believe that their wins last week simply pulling them out of the cellar, yes just one simple spot, has set them up for the run to top all runs to an NCAA Tournament berth. Short analysis after you see this bracket:
Does anybody else see a path to the Ship? Ok, so it’s going to be tough… for anybody. It’s nearly million to one for the Cougars it seems after the season we’ve endured. But looking at the matchups, anybody could make that run, save for maybe Oregon State. But that’s why it was so important to get out of the last spot. Arizona straight handled the Cougs in both matchups, while the Cougs played every team tough on the bottom half of the bracket. Heck, they had both Washington and Oregon on the ropes TWICE before late collapses.
In fact, should WSU get past Washington they’ll see a team that they had double digit halftime leads on both times this season. If the run continued to four straight wins Thursday against Oregon, then of course they could hope the winner of Utah/USC makes it by Cal, which might even make WSU the team to beat in the semi. Even if it is Cal that rolls on, the Cougs on a hotstreak of epic proportion could find themselves in a Championship game with hopefully a UCLA team that they just blew out a week ago.
Really, it couldn’t have lined up better for Wazzu, in theory. They could’ve had a better round 1 matchup by facing SC as a 10 had Utah lost on Saturday, but with the win the Utes held on to the 10. It wouldn’t have lined up as well in round 2 though. And something we haven’t talked about is that by moving up to 11, the Cougs will play at 8:30 instead of 2:30, which is a major plus because over the Ken Bone era they play simply horrifically in early afternoon games.
Either way, there’s absolutely no expectation of any of it happening (well maybe the Washington game), but it’s a fun thought right now that the Cougs could be 2013′s Cinderella.