EUGENE, Ore. — Weber State's never-ending basketball season continues tonight when the Wildcats play Oregon in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament.
This is the Wildcats' second game since they were eliminated from the Big Sky Tournament by Montana last Tuesday. They faced Saint Mary's on Friday in a late-added game that was scheduled in order to increase the odds that star guard Damian Lillard will be granted a medical hardship and an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA.
This time, the Wildcats are taking advantage of being one of 132 teams invited to play in the postseason. They'll be facing an Oregon team that has a losing record (16-17) but had a solid performance in the Pac-10 Tournament. The Ducks advanced to the conference semifinals where they were eliminated by eventual champion Washington.
The Ducks, coached by former Creighton coach Dana Altman, overhauled their roster last spring and were picked to finish near the bottom in the Pac-10. They exceeded expectations and are led by power forward Joevan Catron, who averages 15 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
E.J. Singler, the younger brother of Duke's Kyle Singler, averages 11.4 points and 5.7 rebounds and shoots 40 percent from 3-point range for Oregon.
The Weber State-Oregon winner will play the Montana-Duquesne winner on Monday. The Wildcats will have to overcome history — as well as a good Ducks squad — in order to advance. They are 1-16 all-time against Pac-10 teams.
Weber State, which has lost three of its last four games, originally announced last week that it would be playing a home game in the first round of the CBI. Those plans changed on Sunday night when the CBI determined it would be sending the Wildcats on the road.
The CBI is in its fourth year of existence. The tournament is single elimination until two teams remain, and then it becomes a best two-of-three for the championship. Previous champions are Tulsa (2008), Oregon State (2009), and VCU (2010).
Weber State (18-13) at Oregon (16-17)
Today, 8 p.m.
Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
TV: HDNet Radio: 1430 AM
CBI 1st round results
Davidson 85, James Madison 65
Creighton 85, San Jose State 74
Evansville 77, Hofstra 70
Boise State 83, Austin Peay 80