Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State men's basketball is in a prime position for a first round bye at the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament. All they need to do is take care of business in the final homestand of the season. The 3rd place Beavers have Arizona State, who is in 2nd, and Washington, who leads the conference, still on the schedule before regular season play ends. They take on the former at home, while also playing host to Arizona on Thursday night.
"That's the goal," says Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle. "It's only happened once where somebody has won four games to win it all, so I think that gives you a great chance if you get that bye, for sure."
This upcoming slate of games will also be a celebration, of sorts. Seniors Gligorije Rakocevic and Stephen Thompson, Jr. will be honored in their last matchups at Gill Coliseum. Both players were on the team when the Beavers last made the NCAA Tournament, and hope a late run in 2019 could have them extend their playing careers in Corvallis.
"We are just getting ready for something special," Rakocevic says. "It would be so great to stay in the top 4 teams and get an extra day to watch and get some shots up."
Thompson, Jr. and Rakocevic played in the same league in high school before coming to Corvallis as players, and will be going out together in the orange and black.
"Just being able to see his development over the course of these years has been great," Thompson, Jr says of Rakocevic. "Great friend, great person off the court so it's definitely gonna be great to share this special moment with him this weekend."
The Beavers will take on Arizona at Gill Coliseum at 6:00 pm before taking on Arizona State in their home finale at 5:00 pm.
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