PORTLAND STATE (17-13, 10-6) vs
 WEBER STATE (23-5, 14-2)
5:30 pm MT | Altitude TV, Big Sky TV
Weber State: BYE
Portland State: def (6) Montana State 75-53
Regular Season Series: Weber 2-0 (88-81, 92-79)
If the past is any indication, we should see a lot of points from the first matchup of the night. Portland State will hope to ride senior all-conference first-teamers Charles Odum and Chehales Tapscott. The guard/forward combo score 19 and 14 points per game, respectively, while both shooting 53% from the field. Tapscott also pulls down a manly 9.3 rebounds per game, especially manly given he is only 6-5.
The Vikings' biggest problem will be figuring out how to stop (or maybe keep up with) Damian Lillard and the Wildcats. In the teams' first contest in Portland, PSU racked up 51 points in the first half. Weber State scored 44 in each half, though, and the Vikings couldn't keep up with the pace in the second half. Lillard scored 38 points that night, then 40 more when PSU visited Ogden. Scott Bamforth averaged 18 points in those contests as well.
It wasn't as if the games weren't competitive. They were. But in the end, PSU couldn't figure a way to slow down the Wildcats enough to keep up. We're likely to see Portland State try out a three-quarter-court zone press like Weber State has seen ever since playing Eastern Washington, and like Montana employed to slow Weber's roll. Ultimately, Portland State will need a third player outside of Odum and Tapscott to get buckets consistently for the best chance at the upset.
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 EASTERN WASHINGTON (15-16, 8-8)
vs  MONTANA (23-6, 15-1)
8:00 pm MT | Altitude TV, Big Sky TV
EWU: def (5) Idaho State 81-75
Regular Season Series: Montana 2-0 (79-71, 74-60)
Montana is on top of the world after slaying Weber State last week for the regular-season crown. The Grizz seemed to have taken personally all the pub Weber State and Damian Lillard were getting and played a marvelous game to down the Wildcats.
Montana seems to have what it takes to win the tournament and maybe make some noise (or at least make someone sweat) in the Big Dance. Will Cherry is a highly-skilled point guard, averaging 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Kareem Jamar is the quintessential combo guard, and at 6-5 averages 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Art Steward is the hard-working, defensively-able body, Mathias Ward is the post-scoring presence, and Derek Selvig is the defensive post presence. It is, in my opinion, the best starting lineup in the conference.
Montana's question is what happens when the starting lineup isn't clicking. The win versus Weber had freshman Mike Weisner filling productive minutes with Selvig in foul trouble. When things like that happen, Montana gets downright scary.
Eastern Washington has been beat two different ways by Montana. In the first, Cherry and Ward combined for 40 points and each took 13 foul shots. In the second, the whole team took over (Steward 19, Jamar 15, Cherry 11, Ward 10, Selvig 9, Sean Stockton 8). Eastern's problem is going to be getting multiple players showing up offensively. Cliff Colimon scored 26 in the first matchup, and Collin Chiverton scored 22 in the second, but neither received tons of help in each game.
If made to guess, I would suspect Eastern Washington employs a similar strategy it did in its final game against Weber State -- get physical, knock people around, and make Montana grind out a win.