Over the last few weeks, things couldn’t have gone any better for the Viking men’s basketball team. After winning their last three conference games, the Viks receive the fourth seed in the Big Sky tournament as well as a quarterfinal home game. So the Vikings head into Saturday’s playoff game against Montana State riding streaks of torrid play and wicked luck, and they just need it to last a little longer.
Over the last few weeks, things couldn’t have gone any better for the Viking men’s basketball team. After winning their last three conference games, the Viks receive the fourth seed in the Big Sky tournament as well as a quarterfinal home game.
So the Vikings head into Saturday’s playoff game against Montana State riding streaks of torrid play and wicked luck, and they just need it to last a little longer.
“I’m glad we get to play another game here and I hope we can get a good crowd and have a great college game atmosphere,” head basketball coach Ken Bone said. “It should be exciting–finally a big game at home. It would be a disappointment if we don’t get a really good crowd.”
The Vikings are now just three wins away from their ultimate goal: playing in the NCAA tournament. To do so, they’ll have to win the Big Sky tournament (the conference champ gets an automatic invite to the NCAA).
“We’ve got to make it to the NCAA tournament for the school. Anything else (like the NIT) would be a consolation–like going to the NBDL or something,” said recently named Big Sky Newcomer of the Year Dupree Lucas.
Saturday’s opponent, the Montana State Bobcats, went 8-8 in conference play to finish with an overall record of 11-18. The Vikings and Bobcats split the season series, with each team winning on its home floor.
The first meeting on Dec. 30 at the Stott Center, the Vikings won 79-65 as junior center Scott Morrison had one of his best games of the season. He finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
More recently, on Feb. 3 in Bozeman, Portland State built a double-digit lead but couldn’t hang on. The Bobcats charged back in the second half, scoring 29 to the Vikings 11 over the final 11 minutes, to take the victory, 79-71.
Despite the loss, the Vikings have won four of the last six meetings, including three straight at the Stott Center.
If the Vikings prevail Saturday, they will travel to Ogden, Utah, as the first-ranked Weber State Wildcats earned the right to host the tournament’s final two rounds. Who the Vikings would play in the semifinals is still to be decided.
Weber State will host the advancing team with the worst overall record. This means if the third-ranked Montana beats Idaho State, the Vikings will play Weber State in the semifinals on Tuesday. If Idaho State scores the upset, Portland State will go up against Northern Arizona.
As Saturday’s game is put on by the Big Sky conference, there will be no free student tickets. Portland State students must purchase tickets for Saturday’s quarterfinal game. They are available by phone from the PSU Box Office at 1.888.VIK.TIKS or by going to the box office, located in Smith Memorial Student Union. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Stuff the Stott!
The fourth-seeded Portland State Vikings will host the fifth-seed Montana State Bobcats in the Big Sky Conference Tournament quarterfinals. The winner will advance to semifinals in Ogden, Utah.
When: Sat., March 3, 7 p.m.Where: Peter W. Stott CenterCost: $8 for PSU students from 1-888-VIK-TIKS or 503-725-3307 or the box office in SMSU