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Montana Grizzlies No. 3 seed, Montana State No. 5 for Big Sky men's basketball tournament

Posted: 12:25 AM, Mar 08, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-08 12:48:12-04
Montana Grizzlies rally past Eastern Washington, punch NCAA Tournament ticket

MISSOULA -- The Big Sky Conference officially announced the 11-team tournament field for the 2020 men's basketball conference tournament late Saturday evening at the conclusion of the regular season. The tournament runs March 11-14 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.

Eastern Washington won the conference's regular-season title outright as the Eagles finished with a 16-4 league mark. EWU will take on the winner of the game between No. 8 seed Sacramento State and No. 9 Weber State. Those two teams will be the first game of the tournament and will tip off at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. EWU and the winner of that game will be the first game in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

After taking down Montana on Thursday, Northern Colorado locked up the No. 2 seed with a win over Montana State on Saturday. The Bears finished 15-5 in league play and will await the winner of No. 10 Idaho and No. 7 Southern Utah on Thursday. The Vandals and Thunderbirds will play on Wednesday after the conclusion of Sac State and Weber State.

The Griz, the two-time reigning tournament champions, earned the No. 3 seed with a 14-6 mark in league. Montana was in first until falling to Northern Colorado and also lost to Southern Utah on Saturday to close out the regular season. The Grizzlies will take on the winner of No. 6 Northern Arizona and No. 11 Idaho State, which will be the third and final men's game on Wednesday. Montana and the winner of that game will be the final game of the day in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

No. 4 Portland State (12-8 in league) and No. 5 Montana State (10-10) round out the top five teams that earned first-round byes. The Vikings and Bobcats will play each other in the second game during Thursday's quarterfinal round.

The men's semifinals will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday while the championship is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.

Here is the full schedule of the tournament below, with games taking place approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the other games. To view the complete bracket, please click here.

Wednesday, March 11, first round

Game 1: No. 9 Sacramento State vs. No. 8 Weber State, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 10 Idaho vs. No. 7 Southern Utah, TBD
Game 3: No. 11 Idaho State vs. No. 6 Northern Arizona, TBD

Thursday, March 12, quarterfinals

Game 4: No. 1 Eastern Washington vs. Game 1 Winner, noon
Game 5: No. 5 Montana State vs. No. 4 Portland State, TBD
Game 6: No. 2 Northern Colorado vs. Game 2 Winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7: No. 3 Montana vs. Game 3 Winner, TBD

Friday, March 13, semifinals

Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 9: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner, TBD

Saturday, March 14, championship

Game 10: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner, 6 p.m.