The Big Sky tournament will begin shortly, with the opening game featuring the 2nd seeded Eastern Washington Eagles against the Idaho Vandals. If you like scoring, then you’ll love this game. In the two meetings the Eagles and Vandals had, they combined for a total of 368 points, which is an average of 184 points per game. Also spotlight the guard Tyler Harvey, who I think fairly could draw some comparisons to Damian Lillard. Another game on tap for today’s first round is the top seeded Montana Grizzlies against the 8th seeded Weber St. Wildcats. The Grizzlies turned around a bleak season, as they entered conference play with a 4-7 record, only to finish the regular season with a much better looking 18-11 record. On the other hand the Wildcats are the defending Big Sky Champions, but have had a rough season this year and barely made the cut off to repeat as Big Sky Champions. Also on the slate is the 3rd seeded Sacramento St. Hornets against the 6th seeded Portland St. Vikings, as well as the 4th seeded Northern Arizona Lumberjacks against the 5th seeded Northern Colorado Bears. I will say, the Big Sky got much more competitive then it has been in the past and that makes for an exciting tournament.
As for a prediction, I’m going with the Eastern Washington Eagles. They have had a great year and have really tested themselves in their non-conference schedule. The Eagles lost on the road to the SMU Mustangs by nine, the Washington Cougars (when they were ranked) by four, as well as took down the Indiana Hoosiers on the road. They enjoyed a successful time in conference play, losing a couple of head scratchers, but finishing 14-4 overall. They have two of the best scorers in the conference in Tyler Harvey and Venky Jois, who combine for 40.0 points per game, which is exactly 50% of Eastern Washington’s total points per game. The Eagles haven’t been to the big dance since 2004, but this is their year in my opinion. With that, the Eagles take the Big Sky tournament by storm and punch their ticket into the field of 68.