2024 Big Sky Conference Tournament

The 2024 Big Sky Conference Tournament will determine the lone NCAA Tournament bid in what is typically a pretty exciting mid-major conference. Two-time defending champion Montana State comes in as the No. 5 seed, so we could see a changing of the guard.

All 10 teams make the tourney, with byes to the Quarterfinals for the top six seeds. This is one of the tournaments with staggered Quarterfinals, so the Sunday winners won’t play until Tuesday, while the Monday winners play back-to-back days.


How to Watch the Big Sky Conference Tournament

When: March 9-13

Where: Idaho Central Arena in Boise, ID

Format: Top six seeds get byes to the Quarterfinals

Watch: ESPN+, ESPNU, ESPN2; Championship Game on ESPN2 on Mar. 13 at 11:30 p.m. ET

College Basketball Odds | College Basketball Betting Splits | Greg Peterson’s Daily Lines | Steve Makinen’s Power Ratings

Big Sky Conference Tournament Bracket

Big Sky Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds

1. Eastern Washington (+200)

2. Northern Colorado (+550)

3. Montana (+310)

4. Weber State (+300)

5. Montana State (+1600)

6. Portland State (+1700)

7. Northern Arizona (+10000)

8. Idaho State (+2500)

9. Idaho (+10000)

10. Sacramento State (+20000)

(odds from DraftKings Sportsbook accurate at time of publish)

Favorite To Win Big Sky Conference Tournament

As you can see from the odds, the teams really drop off after the top four seeds. Eastern Washington is the favorite as the No. 1 seed, but No. 4 seed Weber State is second, even though the teams are on a crash course in the semifinals. Very few teams in the Big Sky Conference play defense and there are some wild variations in pace and offensive scheme, so it is a really fun league.

Eastern Washington finished the regular season fourth in eFG% offense, ranking sixth in 2P% and 25th in 3P%, so they make a ton of shots, but they’re also in the 330s in 3P% defense. Montana and Northern Colorado are also high-caliber offensive squads, but they struggle mightily without the basketball.

Montana State and Weber State rank second and third, respectively, in adjusted defensive efficiency, but are nowhere near their top-ranked peers in offensive efficiency. Most teams in this conference take a lot of jump shots, so you can get some variance in the results.

Big Sky Conference Tournament Darkhorse

Montana State is really the only “darkhorse” I see here given the price at +1600. They took Eastern Washington to overtime and beat Weber State to finish out the regular season. The Bobcats also beat EWU earlier this season and split with Northern Colorado. Their lack of consistency is downright maddening, and the path is hard with Weber State, Eastern Washington, and the 2 vs. 3 winner in all likelihood.

If you extrapolate this out to face the most likely opponents, you get them around +3 against Weber (+150), roughly +6 against EWU (+200), and probably +4.5 or so against Montana (+170) and +3 or so against Northern Colorado (+150).

If we get +150, +200, and +170 as the three moneylines, a moneyline rollover on Montana State would be around +1900, so there’s a little more line equity in going that route vs. the traditional future, but it isn’t as big or obvious as some others. I’m also just using rough math to project that out.

Players to Watch in Big Sky Conference Tournament

Balanced scoring is very much a thing in this league, as there are 32 players who average at least 10 points per game. Also, with the altitude and some of the travel difficulties, teams have to be a little bit deeper with their rosters, so there are eight more players averaging at least nine points per game.

The scoring leader is Weber State’s Dillon Jones with 20.8 PPG and he’s also the conference’s leading rebounder with 10.1 RPG. Northern Colorado’s Saint Thomas is right there with 20 and 10 on the regular. Jones is also leading the conference with 5.2 dimes per game, so he’s clearly the conference’s most productive player, but Thomas is also racking up 4.0 APG.

The Bears have another all-name-team member in Dejour Reaves (14.7 PPG), making them one of two teams with multiple players in the top 10 in scoring. The other is Montana State, as the Bobcats have three players – Robert Ford (15.3 PPG), Brian Goracke (13.6 PPG), and Brandon Walker (13.3 PPG) up there. Walker only plays just over 20 minutes per game.

Betting Pick to Win The Big Sky Conference Tournament

Despite the tough path, I do think Montana State is really interesting and they’re worthy of a little bit of investment, whether you keep it simple and take the futures price or opt for the moneyline rollover with a little more equity. They’re a good defensive team and they’re the top 3-point shooting team in the conference, so they have some attractive qualities.

Among the favorites, I like Northern Colorado a little bit. I prefer their shot selection and defensive shot selection to Montana’s if they meet in the 2 vs. 3 game. I also like their potential quarterfinal matchup more against the Northern Arizona/Idaho State winner as opposed to Montana’s against Portland State, who is offensively-challenged, but not bad defensively.

Picks: Montana State (+1600 – consider moneyline rollover instead); Northern Colorado +550

Makinen Power Ratings for Big Sky Conference

Check out the other previews in our 2024 College Basketball Conference Tournament Betting Guide.