College basketball: How Utah's NCAA D-1 men's programs finished
Record: 26-6 (18-2, Big Sky Conference)
Conference tournament: Lost in BSC championship game to Montana
Where they ended up: CIT (CollegeInsider.com Tournament)
How they got there: By losing to Montana by three points in the Big Sky Tournament title game. Win that, and it's the Wildcats, not the Grizzlies, as a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
WSU did an admirable job staying successful after seeing Damian Lilliard leave to light up the NBA, but Big Sky membership leaves little room for error.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats committed just enough errors to make winning their conference tournament a necessity, rather than a luxury. Non-conference losses to San Jose State, Utah State and BYU, combined with back-to-back BSC defeats to Montana and Montana State, formed enough flaws in WSU's resume.
Where they go from here: Scott Bamforth's shot (44 percent 3-point shooting) will be sorely missed, as will Frank Otis' inside presence.
Still, leading scorer Davion Berry will be back to improve on his 15-plus points per game. The Wildcats have shown that departure of talent doesn't have to mean a departure of success.
With everyone but the two aforementioned seniors returning and the Big Sky boasting the same competition next year, the Wildcats should be right back in the mix.
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