Conference Review and Preview: Big Sky

North Dakota almost crashed the party that Montana and Weber State has been throwing for themselves for the last three years, but in the end it was the conference’s top seed who cruised into the NCAA tournament and were dealt a semi surprising 16 seed. Perhaps they were shocked as well, as Weber State pushed top seeded Arizona, eventually losing by just 9 points.

With Weber State losing three Senior starters, Montana going through a coaching change, and North Dakota losing basically everybody, the Big Sky is potentially ripe for some turnover, finally. Northern Colorado, the last non Montana or Weber State team to make the NCAA tournament out of the Big Sky, was just middle of the pack last season, but they will have an experienced lineup in 2014-15. Northern Arizona features player of the year candidate Quinton Upshur, and also will welcome transfers Keonta Vernon (Wyoming) and KJ Bluford (Iowa State).

Sacramento State signed perhaps the best recruiting class in the league, though it will likely be a couple of seasons before they see the dividends from said class.

Having to replace basically everyone, North Dakota has welcomed in some transfers, including 7 footer Carson Shanks (Utah State) but it’s going to be a tough year for the league’s Easternmost team.

Predicted Order of finish: (note: for a probably much more accurate prediction, see Big Sky Basketball)

1. Montana

2. Weber State

3. Northern Arizona

4. Northern Colorado

5. Sacramento State

6. Eastern Washington

7. North Dakota

8. Portland State

9. Idaho

10. Idaho State

11. Montana State

12. Southern Utah

All-Conference Team:

Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington

Mikh McKinney, Sacramento State

Joel Bolomboy, Weber State

Michael Weisner, Montana

Quinton Upshur, Northern Arizona