I will have more to say about the games Saturday, and how things look heading into the final week of regular season... but for now, I wanted to point out that after Saturday, things at the top of the conference have resolved themselves potentially in an easy to understand way.
Saturday could not have got any better for Sacramento State. Montana beat Eastern Washington, Northern Colorado beat Northern Arizona, and then the Hornets themselves took care of business by going on the road to beat Portland State.
That sets up this - with just one victory in their final two games, Sacramento State will be hosting the Big Sky tournament. Pretty heady stuff for a program that has not had a winning season since entering the DI ranks in the 1991-92 season*.
The tiebreakers work like this - Sacramento State and Eastern Washington split their season series, so if they tie, the next tiebreak will be how they fared against the third place team, which will be Montana (NAU can tie Montana, but Montana would hold the tiebreaker over NAU). In that case, Sac State beat Montana, while EWU split with the Grizzlies, which would give the Hornets the tiebreaker advantage.
If they tie with Montana, then they win the tiebreaker by virtue of the head to head. If all three teams would tie, then the common records advantage goes to Sac State - again by virtue of their win over Montana. Basically, that one point, comeback win is going to be the tiebreaker trump card.
Now, a win is not a foregone conclusion. The Hornets go on the road to take on Southern Utah, who has plenty to play for themselves (they trail Weber State by one game for the eighth spot, but they do own the tiebreak), and then follow it up with a road game at Northern Arizona, where they will likely be an underdog. The path is not easy.
But, they do know that with one more win in the final two games, they will be hosting the Big Sky tournament.
*An earlier version of this post said they entered DI in the late 80s, but that has been corrected.
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A costly one point loss for the Eagles, who have what is arguably the easiest last 2 games, though on the road, against ISU & WSU. Sacramento St will have a tough, but not impossible, go at it with SUU (who has cause to fight hard) & NAU, hurting from their close loss. My bet on the tourney host is the Hornets ! (likely decided Thurs. nite vs. SUU). Let the MARCH MADNESS begin!!ReplyDelete
Can't wait for this weeks power rankings.ReplyDelete
What an absolute let down for EWU. 5,000 fans in attendance, all of Cheney was buzzing pre game. Its squarely on Hayfor's shoulders. That last play call might be the worst play call in the Big Sky this seaon. The worst part is, he was CLEARLY trying to get Parker Kelly the winning shot on senior night.ReplyDelete
This reminds me SO much of the Super Bowl play call by Pete Carroll. Wanted Russell Wilson to be MVP, not Lynch. GIVE THE DAMN Ball to Lynch!!! And, LET HARVEY shoot the last second shot or Jois. A 20 foot fade away Airball. Huh?!? Huh?? Clearly you can tell, I'm still pissed off about that loss. #ThanksHayford
Kelly is a great shooter, and I'm sure the Grizzlies were really keyed on Harvey... but agreed, I didnt like that play call either. He did get a good look, but got to get the ball to your star and let him create there. Though I will say, tough to put it on Hayford's shoulders... even if Harvey gets the ball there, it's far from a sure thing obviously that they can get the bucket.Delete
I just don't like the playcall at all. A fadeaway 20 footer? A catch and shoot shot? There was no need for that. Run a play, drive to the hole and hopefully get a good look or draw a foul. The catch and shoot fade away would have been a good plan if there was 1-2 seconds, not 7.Delete
Won't be easy for the Hornets as no road game in the BSC is, however I feel they need to wrap it up Thursday at SUU. The first match-up was a grind, but Stuteville was ejected in the 1st half.ReplyDelete
I have a hard time seeing the Hornets get a win at Flagstaff even if the Jacks are a long shot to do any better than 4th. What a finish to the BSC regular season!
I am really pulling for Sac State - 1) because they have struggled a lot over the years, and 2) because Sacramento is an accessible place for folks to travel to watch their team. Sorry to offend but Cheney is not a nice place in the winter, neither are Missoula, Bozeman, Flagstaff, Pocatello, Moscow, Grand Forks, Cedar City, or Greeley. Portland State and Weber can be gotten to, but neither is as nice as Sacramento this time of year. I am actually considering traveling to Sac to catch some of the tourney if they get the job done. #1JacksFanReplyDelete
I haven't seen anyone mention this yet.... Didn't the Big Sky tell Sac State they cant host the tourney in their small gym? Where would the tourney be played if Sac hosts? The Kings arena?Delete
The Big Sky approved a plan to basically convert their wellness center into a bigger facility... http://www.bigskyconf.com/news/2015/2/20/MBB_0220153655.aspxDelete
Wow, creating an entire new court. That's very odd. I like the thinking outside the box approach. But playing on a court and arena they haven't played on before. Really makes it almost a neutral site. Going to be a fun tourney!! #GoEagsDelete
I’m not sure if I would consider a hosting venue located on campus as “neutral”, but if we host I expect the Hornet game(s) to be sold out. I think the Well will show very well for this event.Delete
Yeah, its not quite neutral but its as close as it can be for being on campus. Sac State doesn't exactly hold a home court advantage. Im guessing crowds will be very light as well. Especially for non Sac State games. I think this is a good plan, but I think you are wrong if you expect Sac State to all of a sudden draw thousands when they have had like 500 people at many games this season.Delete
The home court advantage aspect is much more about the fans than the actual court itself... The Hornets often have weak crowds, but they've been fairly raucous at the biggest games this year. I would guess we'd see a pretty good turnout from Sac State fans.Delete
The Hornets ran the BSC table at home (11-1 at against D1 competition this season) so there is a home court advantage. Also the Nest has been packed since January. People will turnout for the Hornet games (if we host). Anybody's guess on turnout for the other games.Delete
Agree Jon for the most part. However I do think the court / arena itself is part of a home court advantage. The familiarity a player has with their home arena is a real thing. Players seem to shoot a better % on their home court. Partly due to the fans, but I do think some is just knowing the court and the backgrounds. Either way, this is going to be an epic Tourney. I think about 4 teams can win this. GoEagsReplyDelete