By Mick Holien
After Griz men’s hoop moved somewhat methodic and easily past Portland State by 20 Thursday night for a 12th consecutive Big Sky Conference victory with just a couple weeks to the tournament it brought to thought strings of dilemma unbeatens face.
Of course you want to be playing at your best thisd time of year and scores and season recortds is what you are measured by but with every league team heading to Reno for the post season leaving no season ending carrot like a tournament host and holding at least a two-game lead is there anything particular to play for.
And secondarily is a record blemish before the tournament that big a negatyive.
Let’s face it as a mid major and lowly rated by the pollsters the Big Sky Conference usually, in fact almost always, is a one-bid league.
Montana is now 19-5 with as best-out mark of 26 wins and acccompaning automatic bid.
In lies the question, the what ifs if you will.
The loss of a remaining league game and a tournament sweep probably gets the Griz a 14 seed but a loss inn the title game would leave them with the same record but maybe without a bid and instead a NIT bid that goes to the league champ if they lose the chipper.
Now don’t get me wrong I think this is a championship team. Worthy of a 12 seed, with a legitimate chance at making a post-season NCAA dent which besides prestige gives a financial boost to both the school and the league.
.You will remember Montana was a 12 seed in Salt Lake City when they upset Nevada and gave Boston College all they wanted.
I wish everybody had the opportunity to go at least to an NCAA second round.
It is an entirely different feeling with Major Media paying penance, strict closed Friday practice session and brisk attendance at pre-game Shoot-Around.
Let’s just say the opening round is nice but that second game gives program legitimacy and you now how everybody loves a bracket buster.