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Wyoming gets another CBI invite

- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Despite losing five of its last six games, Wyoming will play in the College Basketball Invitational for the third straight year.

The Cowboys play at Texas A&M on Wednesday at 6 p.m. MT in College Station, Texas.

Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said Monday that Texas A&M is "probably the best team in the field in terms of talent, competitiveness and coaching."

The Cowboys (18-14) has a better overall record than Texas A&M (17-15) but the Aggies are 16-3 in their home Reed Arena this season.

In addition, Wyoming has won only one game since Feb. 18 when junior forward Larry Nance Jr. was lost for the season with a knee injury. Nance was and still is Wyoming's leading scorer and rebounder.

Among active players, the Cowboys are led in scoring by guards Josh Adams, who averages 12.9 points a game, and Riley Grabau, who averages 10.4.

Texas A&M is a young team with only three seniors on the roster. It enters the CBI after losing four of its last five games.

The Aggies are led by junior Jamal Jones at 13.6 points a game. He has scored 20 or more in eight games. Guard Alex Caruso led the SEC in both assists and assists per game.

One thing both teams excel at is team defense. Wyoming has limited opponents to an average of 61.8 points a game, while Texas A&M allows an average 63.4.

The CBI has 16 teams. First round games will be played Tuesday and Wednesday. The quarterfinal round will take place on Monday, followed by the semifinals on March 26. A best-of-three championship series begins on March 31. Each game will be played at host schools.

While Wyoming had higher hopes for the post season before Nance's injury - defeating No. 13 San Diego State on Feb. 11 - Shyatt said the Cowboys are glad to be in the CBI.

"There is a pride factor that we're moving in the right direction with the Ws, with the competitiveness," he said.

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