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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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It’s the Big Sky halftime show

I had plenty of time to ponder last night's Eastern loss to Montana, because the EWU coaches and players wouldn't come out for interviews for almost 30 minutes. (The interval is usually about 10 minutes while players "cool down" and the media wait to get some quotes for news stories and TV reports.) I can tell you're feeling sorry for me right now...

It was a tough loss for the Eagles - their third straight in the conference, and the during the wait I realized

that we are at the halfway point in the Big Sky race. Frankly, it's running mostly according to form, with preseason favorite Weber State and second-pick Montana leadind the way. Here are the results of the preseason media poll conducted last fall:

Media Preseason Poll
1. Weber State
2. Montana
3. Northern Colorado
4. Northern Arizona
5. Portland State
6. Eastern Washington
7. Montana State
8. Sacramento State
9. Idaho State

Now, here are the current standings (conference games only)

Big Sky (as of Jan. 27)

1. Weber State (8-0)
2. Montana (7-1)
3. Montana State (6-2)
4. Portland State (4-4)
5. Idaho State (4-4)
T6. EWU (3-5)
T6. N. Colorado (3-5)
8. N. Arizona (1-7)                                                                                                                                                         9.Sac State (0-8)

Not bad, really, considering that third-place pick NAU abruptly lost its coach in mid-December, while Montana State has just plain surprised everyone.

So guess who's coming to Reese Court tomorrow night?
 Yes, it's the Bobcats, who rallied from 15 points down at Portland State to win their fourth straight game. Here's an early story line: MSU is looking to avenge a 16-point moss to the Eagles last month in Bozeman, while the Eagles are trying to rebuild some momentum. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.

Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently covers K-12 education and women's basketball.

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