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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eagles regroup and hit the road

Yes, that was a costly loss to Montana last week, but Eastern Washington has plenty to play for this week, even if the Eagles don't get to host the Big Sky tournament. The biggest key for the Eagles is to get back in the groove, health-wise and shooting-wise, on this week's road trip

Now about those tie-breakers: The only realistic way Eastern (21-8 overall, 12-4 Big Sky) hosts the tournament is by winning at Idaho State and Weber State while league-leading Sac State (13-3) loses twice (at Southern Utah and NAU).

In a three-way tie for first at 14-4, Sac State would have a 2-1 head-to-head record vs. EWU  (2-2) and Montana (1-2). In two-way tie between EWU and Sac (they split their two meetings, so the next tiebreaker is how they fared against the third-place team), the Hornets hold the tie-breaker because they have an equal or better record (compared with EWU's) against the teams likely to finish in third place (Montana or NAU). 

Eyes glazed over yet? In a two-way tie with Montana (13-4), the Eagles would probably host - provided that Sac State is the third-place team; that's because EWU is 1-1 against Sac while the Griz are 0-1. However, if NAU (11-5) finishes third, Montana would have the tie-breaker edge (1-0 vs. NAU while EWU is 0-1). But the only way that happens is if NAU loses Thursday to Portland State, then beats Sac State.

Got that?

Montana also needs to see Sac lose twice to send the tournament to Missoula, but the Grizzlies also probably need Eastern to lose one more as well.

No matter what, I'll be there (ahh, it's 68 degrees in Sacramento as I write this... )





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

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