Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thursday Night Big Sky Predictions

After a perfect day last Thursday, let's try to duplicate the success with some picks this week!

Montana @ Southern Utah
Southern Utah has been getting better, and a win for them is closer than you think. But, I think that the TBirds will have trouble slowing Montana's offense down. The Grizzlies are one of the better shooting teams in the country, and they should have enough open looks against SUU. On the flip side, SUU doesn't have the bodies down low to attack Montana in the paint. Montana 71, Southern Utah 62

Idaho State @ Sacramento State
ISU is a better team, but this one should be a pretty even matchup in Sacramento. The Bengals have been susceptible to teams with good outside shooters, but the Hornets don't have a lot of those guys. ISU does do a nice job of forcing turnovers, so that will be a key point of emphasis for Brian Katz. I look for Dylan Garrity to hit enough shots to give Sac State a much-needed conference win, but it should be a close game. Sacramento State 69, Idaho State 67

North Dakota @ Eastern Washington
This is a game that the Eagles need, as they don't want to drop to 3-6. It will be a fun, high-scoring game, as these are the two fastest paced teams in the Big Sky. North Dakota has been poor defensively in allowing good looks from outside, as teams shoot 40.2% from downtown against them. The Eagles should have a feast day with open looks. The one area where UND's defense excels is taking away the ball, but the Eagles have been solid at taking care of it. This will be the most fun game of the evening to watch. Eastern Washington 85, North Dakota 80

Weber State @ Northern Arizona
The Lumberjacks are undefeated at home in Big Sky play, while the Wildcats have barely been tested on the road. NAU has the athleticism to hang with the Wildcats, which will make this one a fun game. A key area will be the three-point shooting for each squad. Both teams have capable shooters from outside, but Weber State defensively does a better job at not allowing their opponents to get clean looks from outside. In a tight game, an extra good look or two will make the difference. Weber State 68, Northern Arizona 63

Northern Colorado @ Portland State
There is some thought that the Vikings will be able to upset the Bears in Portland (where they are one of the better Big Sky teams at home), but I don't see it. PSU's strength lately has been playing with five guard lineups, but UNC is one of the few teams that has the athletes at every position to match up with that, and take advantage offensively. I think UNC will be able to get tons of good looks against the Vikings defense, and PSU's quickness will be neutralized because frontcourt guys like Derrick Barden and Dominique Lee are quick enough to guard all positions. Northern Colorado 78, Portland State 71


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  1. I think your picks are right on.

    Montana will struggle with the SUU foul fest. Montana's bigs are soft so It might be a tough one. I still think Montana pulls it out but SUU plays a difficult style of ball to get a rythem in.

    If PSU plays like they did in the 2nd half on Monday Northern Colorado may be in trouble. Northern plays small ball too, but Barden can rebound and play D against the best in the conference. It might be close for a while.

    Sac and ISU is a pick em. If it comes down to coaching adjustments I like Evans and ISU.

    I'm biased when it comes to weber but there are no easy road wins this year.

    I think Eastern wins by 10..

  2. I haven't seen UNC play this bad for well over a year now.

  3. Currently down 21 at the half... I am shocked right now.

  4. Hummm!!! WOW! Missed a couple of picks this time, but can honestly say I would have done worse. UNC's loss by 23 is a shock!

  5. I think no one saw the PSU/UNC game coming, we will see how UNC rebounds against EWU

    Big road win for UND, they needed that and they continue their good play so far in this middle stretch. Don't look now, this might turn back into a 3 team chase

  6. Yeah, this one was not my perfect week, that is for sure!

    The way UND is playing right now, this could definitely still be a 3 team race. They were very impressive last night.

  7. The UNC/UND road swing to Weber/ISU is going to be huge next week.