What-to-know tourney previews: The Big Sky
Weber State is the best Big Sky team on both offense and defense, but watch out for Montana.
1. OK, so it's a small league. Give us the favorite.
I actually don't think there is one. But the separation between top seeds Montana (1) and Weber State (2) with the rest of the bracket is massive. Montana finished 23-6 this year, Weber State 24-5, and both are capable of getting a Round-of-64 win. Weber State is especially impressive considering the team has rebounded from losing NBA stud/top-10 pick Damian Lillard.
2. With Lillard gone, who's the closest thing to him?
In terms of star quality, it's Will Cherry. The Montana guard has been nagged by injury to bookend this season, though. He missed time in November and was hurt recently, too. The good news is MU coach Wayne Tinkle (giggle if you must) has said Cherry will be ready for Big Sky play. That will be huge, because Weber State is the best Big Sky team on both offense and defense -- it's just Montana is stronger in the margins.
3. It sounds like there's no sleeper chances here, right?
Right. And I'm talking: I'd be genuinely shocked if anyone outside of the top two seeds got the auto bid here. (MU and WSU have no shot at an at-large either, for the record.) If you're looking at the next team in the mix, North Dakota, the No. 3, is the only other team in the conference with a .500 record this year -- and it's just at .500. It was that bad.
Schedule: All games at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., March 14-16.
Title game: Saturday, March 16, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
THREE BEST PLAYERS
- Kareem Jamar (Montana)
- Will Cherry (Montana)
- Troy Huff (North Dakota)
Conference RPI: 28
KenPom.com rating: 28
Sagarin rating: 29
For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.
Our Latest Stories
With the game in hand, the Bruins were gunning for a hundred and reached the mark
LaVar Ball didn't shy away from his stance that his son is better than the Warriors' star
The Tar Heels are alone atop the ACC standings
Doug Collins would have not been pleased had Northwestern dropped its game against Rutgers
A Kentucky win is immediately overshadowed by Calipari defending coaches facing uncertain...
Also, Kansas all but secures its 13th straight league title, and what do we make of Florida...