Wyoming and Washington State were scheduled to meet Monday night in a CBI Tournament 2nd round matchup, but after warming up and playing the first few minutes of the game before an empty arena, both teams decide to call it a night and went out for pizza together.
"No one cares. I didn't want to play in this tournament, but our athletic director accepted the bid," said Washington State head coach Ken Bone. "We're putting kids at risk here. Someone could get hurt — and for absolutely no reason. These Wyoming kids have never been to Pullman before, so I thought we'd just end the game and grab a bite to eat in town."
Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said he immediately accepted Bone's offer to quit the game when he was approached during a stoppage in play 1 minute and 39 seconds into the first half.
"Ken said to me: 'Hey, do you all want to get out of here and get some pizza?' And I was like: 'Yeah. F—k it. Let's go,'" said Shyatt. "Hell, I don't want to be here. My athletic director accepted the bid. I had a vacation lined up that I had to cancel to coach this team in this pointless tournament."
Despite quitting the game, the Cougars and Cowboys attempted to cover their tracks with the NCAA by calling in a fake final score to the NCAA basketball office, as well as local media. The team that got the "win" will have to advance and remain in the CBI Tournament, so in exchange the losing squad agreed to pick up the dinner check.
"I called the local paper to say that we won, 61-41," said Bone. "They thanked me for the information, but said it probably wouldn't get in the paper. Tomorrow they have their high school girls softball preview, so space is tight."
Wyoming guard Michael Hayward said he felt the teams did the right thing.
"There wasn't a lot of motivation to play on either side," said the senior. "And I had a ham and pineapple pizza for the first time ever. It was really good."