Ogden • Four games remain for Big Sky Conference leader Montana as well as Weber State.
Hot on the Grizzlies’ heels, Weber State trails by one game.
On Saturday, both schools take a break from the league schedule for BracketBuster games that could play a role in just which team hosts the BSC tournament. Should Montana stumble in one of its last four conference games, one of the tie breakers is power rankings.
Weber State (19-5, 14-2 BSC) is at Oral Roberts, while the Grizzlies (19-5, 15-1) travel to Davidson in North Carolina.
The Wildcats, since losing both games of their swing through Montana, is on a six-game win streak. This includes an 87-63 victory in a rematch with the visiting Grizzlies. On the eve of its 6:30 p.m. MST tipoff at Oral Roberts (17-10), Weber State’s confidence is high.
“We’ve got a real good basketball team when we defend like we’re capable … when we rebound like we’re capable and we play pretty good offense,” Weber State coach Randy Rahe said. “When we don’t turn the ball over, we have a pretty good basketball team.”
This will be WSU’s fourth BracketBuster game. It also is the final season for the format, which matches teams from different conferences of the same power rankings.
Weber State enters the game with an RPI of 112, while Montana’s is just a bit better at 109. Oral Roberts’ sits at 113, while Davidson owns a power ranking of 98.
The eventual Big Sky champion and tournament host also will be the only team to receive a bye in the conference’s new playoff format. This means every other team must win three games to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
So, finishing first and hosting becomes an invaluable position.
Weber State at Oral Roberts
O Tulsa, Okla.
Tipoff • Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
TV • Fox College Sports. Radio • 106.9 FM
Records • WSU 19-5, ORU 17-10
Series history • Tied, 2-2
Last meeting • WSU, 115-80 (Dec. 1991)
About the Wildcats • WSU is one victory away from its 20th win, which will be the 26th time in 51 seasons of Division I basketball, and fifth in the past seven years.
About the Golden Eagles • ORU averages 71.2 points, while allowing 66.7 a game.