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WITH PLAYOFF BERTH ON THE LINE, MEN'S HOOPS HOSTS MONTANA ON THURSDAY

Sacramento State Game Notes (pdf)
Montana Game Notes (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings

GAME PREVIEW

Let the craziness begin...Sacramento State (13-14, 9-9) enters the final week of the regular season in the middle of an absolute logjam that is the Big Sky Conference standings…each of the Hornets' final two games will come at home inside The Nest, a place the Hornets have won seven straight games…the first game will take place on Thursday against Montana (16-11, 11-7) at 7:05 p.m., followed by Saturday's game against Montana State (14-15, 9-9) at 7:05 p.m…Sacramento State is currently in a four-way tie for sixth place in the middle of an eight-team pileup in the 11-team league…the top seven squads in the conference qualify for the Big Sky Tournament, and Weber State and North Dakota are the only two teams to clinch a spot…eight other teams are jockeying for the final five spots, and just three games separate third-place Montana (11-7) and 10th-place Idaho State (8-10)…the possibilities and scenarios for each team qualifying for the postseason tournament are still infinite, but one thing is for sure, the Hornets need to win one, and possibly both games this week to make the tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season…last year, the Hornets found themselves in nearly an identical situation, needing just one win in the final week of the regular season to clinch a spot in the tournament…instead, Sacramento State lost both its final two games on the road to Montana and Montana State, and finished in a three-way tie for sixth place…unfortunately, the Hornets lost out on the tiebreaker and did not make the Big Sky Tournament…the difference this year is the Hornets' final two games will come at home where the team is 10-2 overall and 7-1 against league foes…that one league loss was in overtime to Portland State…nine conference wins last season would have gotten the Hornets the No. 6 seed in the tournament, but not this year where a team could potentially finish 10-10 and not qualify…despite two road losses last week, Sacramento State has still won seven of its last 10 games…the Hornets' nine conference wins are the program's most since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97…the team has improved its conference record every year of head coach Brian Katz's tenure, a span of five straight years after the program went 1-15 during his first season at the helm…Sacramento State's seven-game home winning streak matches a Div. I era record (1991-pres.), and another win would give the team its longest home winning streak since the 1986-87 squad won eight in a row…Montana inched one step closer to a tournament berth on Monday after defeating Montana State, 53-50, at home…Monday concluded a 4-0 homestand for the Grizzlies, and Montana will play on the road for the first time since Feb. 15…the Griz are 3-5 in league road games this year…Montana owns a commanding 35-5 all-time record against Sacramento State, including wins in each of the last 14 meetings between the two teams…the Hornets' last victory against Montana came at home (80-72) on Jan. 4, 2007…Thursday's contest can be seen live and free in High Definition on WatchBigSky.com…the game can be heard over the airwaves on KTKZ 1380 AM with 17th-year play-by-play man Steve McElroy calling the action…live stats are available at hornetsports.com.

QUICK NOTABLES ON THE SEASON

• Overall, the Hornets have won seven of their last 10 games, the team's best 10-game run since the 2005-06 squad went 8-2 over a 10-game stretch.
• The Hornets have set their record for most Big Sky wins (9) since joining the league in 1996-97.
• The team has now improved its conference record every year of head coach Brian Katz's six-year tenure.
• At 13-14, the Hornets still have a shot to finish the season with an overall record above the .500 mark for the first time since joining the Div. I ranks in 1991.
• At 9-9, the Hornets have the opportunity to finish with a Big Sky record above .500 for just the second time since joining the league in 1996-97. The 2004-05 squad finished 8-6 in league. The 2003-04 squad owns the high water mark for Big Sky finish (T-2nd).
• The 7-game home winning streak is the longest since the '05-06 team won 7 in a row.
• The team's seven-game home winning streak against Big Sky competition is the longest since joining the league in 1996-97.
• The team completed its first 4-0 homestand since the 1981-82 season.
• The Hornets' 10 wins at home ties for the most during the Div. I era.

TIEBREAKERS FOR BIG SKY TOURNAMENT SEEDING

1. Head-to-Head Competition
 
a. Consider the head-to-head record during the Conference season. In double round robin play a team would have to sweep the opponent to break a tie with this method.
b. In the case of more than two tied teams, consider the Conference regular season record for head-to-head competition among all of the tied teams. This process is used to break ties between any of the tied teams with any remaining tied teams returning to the process at criteria 1.a. (above). (Example: Teams A, B, C, and D have identical record from a double round robin season. In head-to-head competition Team A emerges with 4-2 record against the other tied teams, team B and Team C have a 3-3 record and team D has a 2-4 record. Teams A and D can be placed in the final standings at that point while teams B and C return to criteria 1.a. If B and C have split their regular Conference season games, they will move to criteria 2. Performance against other teams in descending order.)
c. In the case of three or more teams having identical win-loss records, the normal tie-breaking procedure would be used. When one or more of these teams is eliminated by using the tie-breaking procedure, the remaining teams involved would then return to the criteria listed in a., above, to break the tie. This will be done until a team is established for that particular seeding position.
 
2. Performance against Conference teams in descending order of finish, beginning with the No.1 team. (Example: Teams B and C remained tied after head-to-head criteria from above. Team A has been declared the Conference Champion based on the above criteria. Team B has split the Conference season games with team A and team C has lost both of the Conference games to team A. Team B is now placed in second place ahead of team C.)
 
3. RPI rankings
 
4. Coin flip between the tied teams

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