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Entering its final game of the regular season, Sacramento State (14-14, 8-11) controls its own destiny in a quest to qualify for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season…the Hornets will play at Montana State (12-16, 9-10) on Saturday afternoon at Worthington Arena at 1:35 p.m. PST…the top seven teams in the 11-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason event, which will begin next Thursday in either Missoula, Mont., or Ogden, Utah…five spots have already been clinched as Montana (18-1), Weber State (17-2), North Dakota (11-8), Northern Colorado (10-10) and Montana State have qualified…that means there are four teams battling for the final two spots as Sacramento State, Southern Utah and Northern Arizona are all tied for sixth with 8-11 records while Eastern Washington (7-12) still has an outside shot of qualifying…with a win on Saturday, the Hornets would clinch a spot in the tournament as either a 5, 6 or 7 seed depending on how other outcomes in the league shake out…Sacramento State still has a shot to qualify with a loss should North Dakota defeat Southern Utah, and Northern Arizona defeat Montana…all the tiebreaker scenarios for the Hornets are listed below…not only is Sacramento State attempting to qualify for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time in seven years, the team is also trying to finish a season with an overall record above the .500 mark for the first time during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.)…the Bobcats qualified for the Big Sky Tournament on Thursday night with their overtime win against Northern Arizona…the Hornets defeated the Bobcats earlier this season in their Big Sky Conference opener, 62-57, at the Nest…Sacramento State is 15-25 all-time against Montana State, but the Hornets have won three of the last four meetings between the two teams…in a series that includes an abundance of close outcomes, Sacramento State has just one win in Bozeman over the last six years, and that came in a 74-71 win during the 2010-11 season… Saturday's contest can be seen live and free on Big Sky TV…the game can also be heard over the airwaves in the foothills on KAHI 950 AM and on www.hornetsports.com with play-by-play announcer Steve McElroy calling the action…live stats can be found at www.musbobcats.com.
SACRAMENTO STATE'S TIEBREAKER SCENARIOS
Below are the four scenarios that qualify Sacramento State for a Big Sky Tournament appearance. Three of the scenarios are based on a Hornet win on Saturday, and one scenario has the team getting in with a loss.
WITH A SACRAMENTO STATE WIN....
- The Hornets will be the No. 5 seed if Montana beats Northern Arizona
- The Hornets will be the No. 6 seed if North Dakota beats Southern Utah AND Northern Arizona beats Montana
- The Hornets will be the No. 7 seed if Southern Utah beats North Dakota AND Northern Arizona beats Montana.
WITH A SACRAMENTO STATE LOSS....
- The Hornets will be the No. 7 seed if North Dakota defeats Southern Utah AND Northern Arizona beats Montana.
WITH A WIN ON SATURDAY....
- Sacramento State will clinch its fifth Big Sky Tournament appearance since joining the league in 1996-97, and first since the 2005-06 season.
- The Hornets would assure themselves of finishing at least .500. Only one Hornet team in the Div. I era finished .500 (15-15 in 2005-06) and none have finished above .500.
- Sacramento State would win its most league games (9) since joining the Big Sky.
- The Hornets would earn their fifth road win, the most since the 2005-06 season.
- Sacramento State would avoid dipping below the .500 mark for the first time all year.
- The Hornets would match their most overall wins (15) in the Div. I era.
- Sacramento State would snap a six-game losing streak on the road to Big Sky teams.
- The Hornets would have an opportunity to win their 16th game next week, which would be the program's most wins since the 1987-88 season.
WITH A LOSS ON SATURDAY....
- The Hornets have a chance of failing to reach the Big Sky Tourney for the 7th straight year.
- Sacramento State would dip below the .500 mark for the first time all year.
- The Hornets' season could end, and the team would fall short of becoming the second team to finish the year at .500 during the program's Div. I era (1991-pres.)
- Sacramento State would fall short of its quest to become the first team in the Div. I era to finish the year above .500 (15-15 is the high water mark by the 2005-06 squad).
- The Hornets would finish the year by losing five of their last six Big Sky games.
- Sacramento State would drop its seventh straight road game to a Big Sky opponent.
- Sacramento State fourth-year senior could see his career come to an end with 115 games played, tied for the most in school history.
Sacramento State's complete set of game notes can be accessed by clicking on the link above the story.
BIGGEST MEN'S HOOPS GAME OF THE YEAR ON TAP FOR SATURDAY AT MONTANA STATE