Saturday, March 5, 2005

Big Sky Conference Tournament Preview

After Portland State won 14 of 16 games, the conference title was already wrapped up. Even though they lost their final game, the Vikings still won the championship by two games over Montana and Montana State. Besides those three, two other squads finished at .500 or better. Several teams are capable of getting a bid from this league, however.
Favorites: Portland State is loaded. They are deep, and they have a multitude of options on offense. In addition, the Vikings have the best player in the league in Seamus Boxley, who led the conference in scoring and was second in rebounding. He can carry this team to a championship. Blake Walker is a scorer on the wing, and Will Funn leads the nation in assists. Montana has won six of eight to get to 9-5. Kamarr Davis and Kevin Ciswell are their primary sources of production. Montana State has lost three of four to finish the season. The Fighting Bobcats are balanced on offense, and have a low-post presence in Marvin Moss.
Sleepers: Weber State has arguably the best player in the league in Lance Allred, who was second in the conference in scoring and first in rebounding. He can match Boxley in the post. Sacramento State is a team with four double figure scorers, including two of the top five in the league.
Prediction: I can't see anyone but Portland State winning this league. They are by far the most talented team, top to bottom, and have been on a hot streak lately. No one besides Weber State has the low post presence to match them, and they will face off in the first round. If they get past that game, it should be smooth sailing for an automatic bid for the Vikings.

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