Weber State’s Tresnak now wants to beat Arizona
Published: March 20, 2014 08:32PM
Updated: March 20, 2014 10:43PM
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Weber State's Kyle Tresnak, left, shoots as North Dakota's Alonzo Taylor defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Big Sky Conference tournament Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Ogden, Utah. Weber State won 88-67. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

San Diego • As a kid from Scottsdale, Kyle Tresnak grew up cheering for Arizona and dreaming of playing for the Wildcats.

He eventually became a ’Cat — just not the Arizona variety.

Tresnak is a senior center at Weber State and, on Friday, he’ll play his former favorite team in the NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena.

Weber will make it’s first appearance in the Big Dance since 2007.

“I definitely followed them,” Tresnak said. “Being from Arizona, everyone chooses U of A or ASU. So I followed them.”

Tresnak called former coach Lute Olson “my hero growing up, and now, when we finally make the NCAA Tournament, we get to play them. … It’s sweet.”

Did Arizona recruit Tresnak, a 6-foot-10 center who has played 130 games at Weber State?

“I went to games down there when I was younger,” he said. “I went to an Elite camp down there. … But that’s about the extent of the interest I got from them.”

Tresnak is one of three players from Arizona who have migrated to Weber State. The others are freshman swingman Richaud Gittens and senior forward Byron Fulton.

“It’s a great experience,” Gittens said. “My whole life, I have watched basketball and thought, ‘How cool would it be to play in the NCAA Tournament?’ Now that I’m here, it’s kind of overwhelming.”

No seeds of discontent

As the Big Sky Conference’s regular-season and tournament champion, Weber State looked like a possible No. 15 seed on Selection Sunday.

Instead, the Wildcats were made a No. 16 seed — the lowest for a tournament team from the Big Sky since 2008.

If Weber coach Randy Rahe was upset about the seeding, however, he didn’t show it.

“I don’t even know our RPI,” he said. “I haven’t looked at that stuff. We’ve just been trying to finish our business and, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter. …

“Obviously, we’d like a higher seed, and I think some day we will be. But it is what it is. Whether you’re a 16 seed or a 15 seed, you’re still playing one of the top teams in the country.”

Still looking up

Weber State senior Davion Berry was the MVP of the Big Sky Conference’s regular season and postseason tournament.

Asked at Thursday’s press conference about matching up against Arizona star Nick Johnson, Berry replied, “He jumps higher than me.”

luhm@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sluhm