Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Sky Standings Breakdown

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the day to day looks at the conference, but let's take a step back and look at the big picture. Here are the Big Sky standings, and some quick thoughts on them.

1. Weber State (6-0)
2. Montana (4-1)
3. Montana State (3-2)
4. Northern Colorado (3-2)
5. Portland State (3-3)
6. Eastern Washington (3-3)
7. Idaho State (2-4)
8. Northern Arizona (1-5)
9. Sacramento State (0-5)

- Obviously the regular season in the Big Sky means a lot. Only six teams make the conference tournament, and the winner of the regular season hosts the semifinals and finals of the Big Sky tournament, meaning the odds are stacked in their favor to make the Big Dance. In my opinion, that's exactly the way it should be.

- Weber State is obviously established itself the undisputed favorite, and they look like far and away the best team in the conference. If anyone is going to beat them, it will have to be away from Ogden. The Wildcats are 10-0 at home this year.

-Montana State it sitting at three right now, but I don't think it will last. I just don't think they have the talent of Northern Colorado, Portland State or Eastern Washington. Now, the Bobcats did beat the Vikings already this year, I just think PSU is a little bit better. Northern Colorado's overall record of 6-10 still looks ugly,  but they look like a top 5 team in the Big Sky.

- I think it will be a mild upset if the top six teams as they currently sit are not the six teams that make the Big Sky tournament. Idaho State has definitely had their moments (and currently sit right outside the tourney), but I don't think they can put together enough wins to finish in the top 6. Northern Arizona is capable of putting together the occasional good game, but they don't have the talent or depth to consistently win games.

- Sacramento State can be a top six team on paper, but they are not showing it on the court. They have lost some games they should have won (ahem), and there simply doesn't seem to be a lot of positive vibes coming out of Sacramento right now. They are already three games back in the win column, and watching them so far this year, you don't get the impression that they will even win three conference games all year!

Your thoughts on the way things look right now?

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  1. I completely agree with you that the Big Sky runs through Ogden this year, and they will most likely be the team representing us in the tourney (a good representation). I don't know if anyone will be able to beat them, and if someone does it will most likely be Montana in that final game of the season.

    As for my Eags, I think this upcoming week will be what determines where we finish. If we cannot grab at least two of these upcoming games at home, it will be interesting to see where we finish. Either way, I still see us making the Big Sky tourney. Even though we are sitting on the edge right now.

  2. Agreed, I would be beyond shocked if they did not make the Big Sky tourney. They have lost some close games, but simply there talent level is very far above ISU, Sac, and NAU... I still like them to finish three, but you are right, they need to win at least 2 of 3 this week now that they are finally back at home.

  3. I won't count the Hornets out just yet, but they do need to get one in the win column soon. I felt at the beginning of the season they would be at 10-win team. If they got a few good breaks that could have been as high as 15 (but that was a big if).

    The Hornets big problem is holding leads. They've shown several times that no lead is safe against them (ask UC Davis how 17-points worked out) but they haven't shown that they can hold any lead (see Idaho State). Of their six-straight losses, only Weber State has won by double digits, and that was only 11 and was a lot closer than that.

    The Hornets 3-point shooting has not lived up to expectations and they haven't been as productive at the foul line in league (63.4 percent) as they were in preseason (about 75 percent).