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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Big Sky basketball getting no respect from Lunardi

If the Big Sky Conference is going to do better than a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Eastern Washington had better win the conference tournament.

For the second week in a row, Big Sky leader Sacramento State is ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's choice for the bottom of the barrel: a play-in game against someone called North Florida, for the right to face No. 1 Kentucky in the second round.

Two weeks ago, Eastern merited a 13 seed, but that was before forward Venky Jois went down to an ankle injury and the Eagles went down 90-77 at Sac State on Jan. 17. The Hornets lead the Sky with a 7-1 record, just ahead of EWU and Montana, both at 6-1.

Eastern still has a chance to set things right; then Eagles have three meetings with Sac and UM. Of course, winning the regular-season title doesn't put you in the NCAAs. Stay tuned...

Eastern continues to get respect from the Rating Percentage Index, weighing in at 71st this week.

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

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