The Big Sky Conference doesn’t figure to get more than one team in the NCAA Tournament and possibly one or two others in the minor tournaments, but that’s about it. It is a pretty balanced conference, which makes it a fun one to handicap and teams can be exceptionally tough at home.
Montana: The Grizzlies get the slightest of nods to win the conference, although it could very well be a two-horse race between Montana and Eastern Washington. The Grizzlies have made it to the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons, but this year’s team isn’t quite as good.
Eastern Washington: The Eagles are going to take some lumps in the preseason, as they have games against the likes of Washington and Gonzaga, along with a few other tough customers. EWU is going to have to do well in the conference, as they’ll be no better than .500 when Big Sky play begins.
Weber State: The Wildcats are going to have to step up the defense or it’s going to be a long season. Weber isn’t bad offensively, but will likely be outscored in a number of games.
Northern Colorado: The Bears aren’t particularly strong offensively or defensively, but they did manage to win 21 games last year and aren’t far off from the top teams in the league.
Southern Utah: The Thunderbirds are pretty tough at home and they should be fairly close to last year’s win total of 17.
Portland State: There’s a bit of a drop-off from the top five teams in the conference to the Vikings, as Portland State is pretty dismal on the defensive side of the ball. The Vikings like to play at fast pace, but don’t have the athletes for that style.
Sacramento State: The Hornets aren’t much to speak of offensively and they’re one of those teams that could finish anywhere from a few games above .500 to a few games below.
Montana State: The Bobcats are going to be hard-pressed to hit .500 this season and the team’s defense is the main reason why, as they’re one of the worst defensive teams in the country.
Northern Arizona: The Lumberjacks have fallen on hard times and are well below average offensively and defensively. They’re better than the two Idaho teams, although that isn’t saying much.
Idaho State: Poor offense and defense are about the only thing the Bengals bring to the court and they’ll battle Idaho for the basement this season.
Idaho: The Vandals are another team that is poor on both ends of the floor and will be lucky to win 10 games this season. The battle for last place in the Big Sky is actually a decent one, as these two teams are equally bad.
Big Sky Conference Opening Power Ratings
|Eastern Washington Eagles||73|
|Weber State Wildcats||72|
|Northern Colorado Bears||71|
|Southern Utah Thunderbirds||70|
|Portland State Vikings||68|
|Sacramento State Hornets||67|
|Montana State Bobcats||67|
|Northern Arizona Lumberjacks||66|
|Idaho State Bengals||62|