The second edition of Big Sky basketball’s most potent rivalry will be a crucial game in the regular-season title race.
Weber State hosts Montana tonight in Ogden, Utah, and, while a Wildcat win would tighten the top of the Big Sky standings and set up a wild three-team race to the finish, a road win for Montana would likely end Weber’s hopes of getting the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Boise, Idaho next month.
“This is the point of the schedule that I looked at and said, it’s going to get fun,” Montana head coach Travis DeCuire said earlier this week. “This one right here is going to be just as fun as the ones we’ve already had. … I’m looking forward to it.”
Montana arrives in Ogden in the midst of a seven-game winning streak that already includes one win over the Wildcats. The Grizzlies enter the contest at 17-6 on the season and 10-2 in conference, alone by themselves in first place.
Weber State started the Big Sky schedule 7-1 but has lost three of five to fall to 9-4 in conference, two games behind the Grizzlies in the loss column and just a game ahead of 8-5 Montana State, who the Wildcats host on Saturday.
“These are two really big games for us, obviously, because they’re two really good opponents,” Weber State head coach Randy Rahe said. “With Montana coming in, and they’re the best team in the league, you always kind of want to measure yourself against them to see where you stack up. They’re the oldest team in the league, they have the most talent in the league, and so I think it’s always good for your guys to go up against them.”