Big Sky Tournament 2013 Championship: Game preview for Weber State vs. Montana


Weber State and Montana will face off for the third time in four years as Big Sky tournament championship foes. The winner gets the auto-bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Montana Grizzlies and Weber St. Wildcats are getting used to battling it out for the Big Sky tournament championship, as they face off for the third time in the last four seasons in the title game on Saturday.

The top-seeded Montana Grizzlies easily handled the Northern Colorado Bears on Friday evening. Weber State needed a big game from Davion Berry as he scored 25 points en route to a late 7-2 run to give the second-seeded Wildcats a close 76-74 win over third-seeded North Dakota.

It would have taken a big upset to not have Montana and Weber State in the finals yet again. The two teams were the class of the Big Sky, combining for three losses in conference play while the rest of the conference beat up on each other.

The two teams split their contests this year, each winning at home. Montana edged Weber State, 76-74, on Jan. 26th in the midst of a 14-game win streak. Weber State took the second game by a more comfortable score, 87-63, on Feb. 14. The Wildcats are currently riding a 13-game winning streak, with their last loss coming at the hands of Montana.

It very well could be a high-scoring game. Weber State and Montana led the Big Sky in scoring, and the Wildcats are the second-best shooting team in the country, hitting 50.7 percent of their shots. Guard Davion Berry leads the Wildcats with 15.3 points per game, good for fifth in the conference, and has the second-highest PER in the Big Sky. It isn't just an offensive show for the Wildcats either. Their defense limits opponents to 61.3 points per game on less than 40 percent shooting.

The experienced duo of Kareem Jamar and Will Cherry leads the Grizzlies. Cherry was on display on Friday night, scoring 21 points against Northern Colorado and Jamar added a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The two have stepped in nicely since the Grizzlies lost Mathias Ward and his 14.8 points per game to a foot injury in February. Jamar has filled the vacant shoes admirably, putting up 28 points in an overtime loss to Davidson and 26 points in a overtime win over Southern Utah.

SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean projects the Big Sky conference as a one-bid conference in the NCAA Tournament, with the winner most likely garnering a 15th-seed.

Tip-off for the game is at 9 p.m. ET and can be seen online on WatchESPN.

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