Big Sky Tournament 2023: Bracket, schedule, scores, teams, and more

The Big Sky Tournament is set to get underway this weekend at Idaho Central Arena in Boise, Idaho. The winner will punch their automatic bid to the 2023 men’s NCAA tournament. The Big Sky is likely to be a one-bid league this year, which means the entire season comes down to the conference tournament.

The tournament has a new format this season. With the conference now down to ten teams, the top six teams in the Big Sky conference have a bye into the quarterfinals, while the bottom four teams play in the first round. If one of those teams wants to crash the big dance, they’ll have to win four game in five days to make the NCAA men’s tournament.

Eastern Washington is the top seed in the Big Sky tournament, with a 22-9 record overall, and a 16-2 record in the conference. The Eagles won their first 16 games in conference play — which set a new conference record — but they enter the tournament having lost their final two games in the Big Sky, including in their season finale against Montana State. Eastern Washington is led by guard Steele Venters, who was named the Big Sky MVP on Thursday. The 6’7 redshirt sophomore averages 15.1 points per game, and was third in the conference with 70 3-pointers made. The Eagles are also stifling on defense. They held opponents to shooting just 42% this season, and held opponents under 40% in 11 games this year.

Speaking of Montana State, they are the #2 seed in the conference, and enter the tournament with a matching 22-9 overall record. Only Montana State’s 15-3 conference record kept them from earning the top seed for the tournament. They’re led by guard RaeQuan Battle, who averages 17.1 points per game this season, as well as last year’s Big Sky MVP Jubrile Belo. Belo 12.8 points per game along with 6.1 rebounds per game.

2023 men’s Big Sky tournament bracket

2023 men’s Big Sky tournament schedule

March 4 First Round

Game 1: Northern Arizona 87, Idaho 76

Game 2: Northern Colorado 84, Portland State 80

March 5 Second Round

Game 3: No. 1 Eastern Washington vs. Northern Arizona, 5:30 p.m., ESPN+

Game 4: No. 2 Montana State vs. Northern Colorado, 8 p.m., ESPN+

March 6 Third Round

Game 5: No. 4 Montana vs. No. 5 Idaho State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN+

Game 6: No. 3 Weber State vs. No. 6 Sacramento State 8 p.m., ESPN+

March 7 Semifinals

Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU

Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 6, 9 p.m., ESPN2

March 8 Championship

Game 9: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2