All hopes of hosting the Big Sky Tournament all but vanished Saturday when Weber State dropped an overtime decision at Northern Arizona.
However, the Wildcats can still wrap up a second seed and find an easier path into the finals of the tournament.A win over Portland State tonight in the Dee Events Center will guarantee WSU that second seed and a first-round bye.
"Everything is pretty much out of our hands," said Weber coach Ron Abegglen. "We just need to focus on the two games this week, play well and get some momentum back heading into the tournament."
And while the game represents a shot at a strong finish in the Big Sky heading into next week's tournament, it also means plenty to a two Wildcats who will be playing their final game (barring a little help from the Big Sky's worst teams) in Ogden.
Alex Fisher and James Smith will conclude their home careers tonight as Weber's only seniors.
Another interesting side note is Abegglen's quest to avoid his first losing season in 35 years of coaching. After a horrible 2-9 start, Abegglen's team is on the verge of clinching another non-losing record. But the 12-12 Wildcats must win their final two games.
Portland State is tied with Weber in the Big Sky at 10-4 but is ineligible for Big Sky and NCAA tourneys as it only recently reinstated basketball.
That makes the Vikings prime suspects in the role of spoilers for any team's post-season hopes.
"They are a dangerous team," Abegglen admits. "They play with a lot of enthusiasm and heart. They can still win the regular season title, even though they can't play in the post-season tournament, so I am sure they have that as a goal this week."
The Vikings are led by forward Jason Hartman (19.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and point guard Brian Towne (15.8 ppg) and beat the Wildcats 77-65 already this year.