As you know by now, Montana and Eastern Washington are the co-champions in the Big Sky, with Montana earning the right to host thanks to a tiebreaker victories. Sac State's hearts were broken by a Kris Yanku runner, ending their dreams of hosting the tournament.
At the back end of the bracket, Weber State and Idaho did what they could to lose their spots by losing on Saturday, but got bailed out when Portland State went on the road and beat Southern Utah, saving a spot for both the Wildcats and Thunderbirds. It was a great Saturday of basketball!
The first-round matchups are:
(1) Montana vs (8) Weber State
(2) Eastern Washington vs (7) Idaho
(3) Sacramento State vs (6) Portland State
(4) Northern Arizona vs (5) Northern Colorado
That is a great slate of matchups! I will have much more to come this week in terms of previews and predictions, I am just getting back into the swing of things after being out of town all weekend.
The other news was the release of the awards!
Here is the first-team Big Sky:
- Mikh McKinney of Sacramento State
- Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington
- Martin Breunig of Montana
- Venky Jois of Eastern Washington
- Kris Yanku of Northern Arizona
- Jordan Gregory of Montana
McKinney was the Player of the Year, in a mild surprise (I thought it may be Breunig because of Montana's spot in the standings). On first thought, without digging into things too much, I can't disagree with any of the choices, including the pick of McKinney as POY. That is very well deserved! I will give more thoughts and awards and all-conference teams next week once the conference tourney talk dies down.
The second-team Big Sky:
- Connor Hill of Idaho
- Mike Scott of Idaho
- Joel Bolomboy of Weber State
- Dylan Garrity of Sacramento State
- Quinton Upshur of Northern Arizona
Honorable-Mention Big Sky:
- Jeffrey Solarin of Idaho State
- Drew Brandon of Eastern Washington
- Chris Hansen of Idaho State
- Mario Dunn of Montana
- Aaseem Dixon of Northern Arizona
- Tevin Svihovec of Northern Colorado
- DaShaun Wiggins of Portland State
- Jeremy Senglin of Weber State
In the other awards, Bogdan Blizynuk was the Freshman of the Year, which was an easy choice. Jordyn Martin was the Defensive POY, which was a little surprise because he doesn't block shots (and numbers usually win awards), but it was a very good choice, as he anchors their D. Marcus Colbert was the Top Reserve, another good choice.
Jim Hayford and Brian Katz shared Coach of the Year honors. I can't argue with those guys, and I couldn't have argued if Travis DeCuire or Nick Robinson had won the award either, as all of those guys were worthy.
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