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Big Sky Tournament championship game: Preview, odds, how to watch, more

The Big Sky will give their automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to the winner on Saturday.

Koby McEwen of the Weber State Wildcats reacts to a flop call against the Montana Grizzlies in the quarterfinals of the Men’s Big Sky Conference Basketball Championships at Idaho Central Arena on March 10, 2022 in Boise, Idaho. Photo by Tommy Martino/University of Montana via Getty Images

The Big Sky Conference will send its representative to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, as the Northern Colorado Bears face the Montana State Bobcats in the championship game of the league from Boise, Idaho.

The 11-team league is a one-bid conference this season, with regular season champion Montana State also eligible for a bid to the NIT should they fail to claim the trophy.

No. 3 Northern Colorado: 20-14 (13-7 Big Sky), 195 NET, 204 KenPom

The Bears closed out the regular season losing to Montana State 87-85 on the road, and beat them at home 77-75 in OT in December, so they can certainly compete with the conference champs. Senior guard Daylen Kountz (20.8 points, 4.0 rebounds) is one of the few players in college basketball averaging more than 20 per outing.

As a team they can score, and they’re 10th in the nation in three-point shooting at 38.4%. But they’re also in the bottom tenth of Division I in adjusted defense.

No. 1 Montana State: 26-7 (16-4 Big Sky), 127 NET, 134 KenPom

The Bobcats have won five straight, but play their biggest game of the season on Saturday. Three seniors in Xavier Bishop, Jubrile Belo, and Amin Adamu give plenty of experience, and are the only double figure scorers for the team that hasn’t appeared in an NCAA Tournament since 1996, and has yet to win a game there.

How to watch the Big Sky Tournament Championship Game

When: Saturday, March 12, 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Idaho Central Arena, Boise, ID
TV: ESPNU
Livestream: WatchESPN.com, ESPN App

Odds for Big Sky Tournament Championship Game from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Spread: Montana State -4
Total: 147.5

Odds for both teams at DraftKings Sportsbook before tournament

Northern Colorado +600
Montana State +200

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