Postseason Preview: Great West 1st Rd.

Carl Montgomery jump shot

Sure, there's no NCAA Tournament bid at the end of the line, but that doesn't mean that the teams playing in the Great West Conference Tournament at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah don't care. There's the opportunity to play postseason basketball (in the CIT) and a lot of pride on the line. Basically the team that wins this game will get one last chance to prove that it has improved since getting hammered during the non-conference part of the season.

(By the way, in terms of Great West facilities the UCCU Center is pretty big time. It received a much better review on Stadium Journey than the Jones Convocation Center.)
Unfortunately that team probably won't be Chicago State. The Cougars have just a 0.02% chance of winning the tournament as they're ranked 345th (a.k.a last) in NCAA Division I according to Ken Pomeroy. Either way Tracy Dildy will finish up his first season as the Cougars' head coach and begin the long rebuilding process.

Chicago State vs. South Dakota

Where: Orem, Utah
What: Great West Conference First Round
When: 8:30 p.m. CT
What else you need to know: This game features two first team all-conference players in Chicago State's Carl Montgomery and South Dakota's Charlie Westbrook. Montgomery is a senior and is quoted in that article that is linked above from the Chicago Tribune, which is a really good look at the Chicago State program. The Cougars lost to South Dakota by four at home, but more recently they lost by 32 at USD. The Cougars finished 6-25 overall, 3-9 in the Great West, which was actually one game better than Ken Pomeroy predicted at the start of the conference season. The winner of this game plays top seed and host Utah Valley, which received a by into the semifinals because there are only seven teams in the conference. Hopefully Montgomery, who is the team's leading scorer at 17.0 PPG and leading rebounder at 7.6 RPG, can avoid getting into the foul trouble that has plagued him in a number of Chicago State's losses this season and make a big impact in what could be his final collegiate game.

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