"There's another team in our league that's done exactly what we've done and they feel exactly the same way," Rahe said of the Grizzlies (23-6). "… It's one of those strange years where you've got two really high-quality teams. We'd like to finish it off the right way. It would sure be fitting if we could go out there and play the way we're capable and put ourselves in a position to do that. That's all you ask is to have the opportunity and then whatever happens happens."
"It's unfortunate that our league gets only one (NCAA) bid and it comes down to the Big Sky championship," Lillard said after the Wildcats' recent BracketBuster win. "But I definitely think that we're a (NCAA) tournament team."
The Wildcats have beaten Portland State twice this season, 88-81 in Portland and 92-79 in Ogden, with Lillard — the nation's second-leading scorer (24.5 ppg) and league MVP — pouring in a total of 78 points — 38 and 40 — against the Vikings.
And while Weber State has never lost to Portland State in the Big Sky tourney (4-0), the Vikings have won seven of their last eight games and are playing solid basketball right now. In fact, Portland State wound up with two players on the All-Big Sky first team, Charles Odum (19.0 ppg) and Chehales Tapscott (14 points, 9.3 rebounds per game), while WSU only had one — Lillard.
And now, if they don't want to wind up playing in the NIT, CBI or some other lame postseason tournament, Lillard and the Wildcats must find a way to win two more games this week. And do it the hard way.
Or what has been such a memorable season will instead be soon forgotten.
Wildcats on the air
Big Sky tournament semifinals
Weber State (23-5) vs.
Portland State (17-13)
Today, 5:30 p.m.
Dahlberg Arena, Missoula, Mont.
TV: Altitude Radio: 1280 AMWSUnotes
- AP source: Irving, Barnes finish US Olympic...
- Federer out to turn around frustrating season...
- With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in...
- Ipsen, Hixon get Olympic 3-meter spots,...
- National champion Sam Mikulak leads US men's...
- Past few days 'difficult' for former...
- Defending champ Serena Williams at Wimbledon...
- Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as...
- Never on Sunday: BYU won't compete on... 168
- Kalani Sitake on BYU-Utah rivalry: 'I... 74
- Sitake not intimidated by BYU's arduous... 59
- Dick Harmon: 1996 Cotton Bowl champion... 47
- Morning Links: BYU basketball fans... 43
- Morning links: Colin Cowherd compares... 34
- Utah Jazz plan to be 'active' during... 24
- Sitake making transition from longtime... 20