Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Big Sky Notebook

February 26, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Big Sky Notebook

by Nicholas Lozito

Much to be determined in final weekend

As we head into the final weekend of conference play, two things are for sure: Weber State (22-5 overall, 12-0 in Big Sky) will be the No. 1 seed and Eastern Washington (17-9, 9-3) the No. 2 seed. These two teams will get a bye into the semifinals, and Weber will host the semifinals and finals. Montana (12-15, 6-6) and Idaho State (13-12, 6-6) have clinched a tournament spot, but their seeds are not yet determined. Sacramento State (10-15, 4-8), Northern Arizona (13-12, 4-8) and Montana State (11-14, 5-7) are battling for the final two tournament spots. Portland State (4-21, 2-10) is simply playing for pride.

The biggest set of games are Montana State coming down to face Sac State and Northern Arizona. One of these teams will not make the playoffs, and it will most likely be Montana State. The only way the Bobcats do not make the tourney is if they lose both games. But they lost to Sac State in Montana earlier in the season, and Northern Arizona is 8-3 at home this season. All Sac State has to do to get in the tourney is match whatever NAU does.

The key for Montana State is point guard Jason Erickson. Last year’s conference MVP is the glue of this team. He led the Bobcats to the regular season title last season, and is back to full strength after suffering a mid-season injury. Montana State is coming off a road loss to Montana.

Sac State relies on the leadership of Derek Lambeth. The Hornets swept Portland State and Eastern Washington in their last homestand, but most recently lost on the road to Idaho State and Weber State. If the Hornets can turn these contests with Montana and Montana State into a run-n-gun affair, it will play to their advantage.

Northern Arizona relies heavily on power forward Ryan McDade and the sharp shooting of their wing players. McDade currently averages 17.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. The Lumberjacks are also the best 3-point shooting team in the conference. The Lumberjacks have lost their last three games.

Weekend Predictions

Montana State loses both of their games to Northern Arizona and Sacramento State, therefore not making the tourney. Montana will lose to Sac State and NAU as well. Portland State ends their season by losing at home to Idaho State and Weber State. A sad first season for PSU head coach Heath Schroyer. Eastern Washington finishes their season off strong by handing Weber their only conference loss and then knocking off Idaho State.

Therefore, the tourney picture would look like this:

1. Weber State (13-1)
2. Eastern Washington (11-3)
3. Idaho State (7-7)
4. Montana (6-8)
5. Sacramento State (6-8)
6. Northern Arizona (6-8)

7. Montana State (5-9)
8. Portland State (2-12)

Wildcats going wild

Weber State currently holds the second longest winning streak in the nation with 12 straight. They are also only one of three teams in the nation with undefeated conference records. So, would the Wildcats be granted an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament if they did not win the conference tournament? The only way I see that possible is if they win every game from here-on-out except the title game. This would leave them with a 25-6 record. The one thing holding Weber back is their preseason schedule, in which the best team they beat was Brigham Young.

Weber State not winning the Big Sky Tournament would be the conference’s only chance to get two teams in. If Eastern Washington does not win the conference tournament, they would be a candidate for the NIT. Last season Montana got the automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney, while Montana State made the NIT.

Game of the Week

Sacramento State’s Saturday match-up with Montana State will have tournament implications. The Hornets knocked off the Bobcats in Montana earlier in the season, and MSU wants revenge. Prediction: Sac State 70, Montana State 64.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.