Welcome to the Special Edition of Small Conference Game of the Night. While this feature had ended with the close of regular season play, there is a game being played tonight that really does merit mention, so we are going to be interrupting your Championship Week enjoyment for one final entry this season. While it would be very tempting to discuss one of the small conference championship games being played today, such as the Great West, SWAC, or Pac-12, as was previously stated, conference tournament games are saved for other posts. Today’s featured game is the 10 PM Eastern contest between Portland State and Seattle.
Portland State is a member of the Big Sky conference and in fact advanced to the conference tournament semifinals this season before falling to Weber State. Their season was not very notable other than the fact that they were once again eligible for postseason play after being one of the first teams ever declared ineligible under the APR rules last season. They enter tonight’s strangely scheduled games (being that it is a regular season game after their conference tournament ended) at 17-14 on the year, but are highly unlikely to be selected for any postseason tournament.
For Seattle, a team that has a great history including 11 NCAA tournament berths and an appearance in the 1958 Final Four, tonight’s game is their final game as an independent and their final game of their four year transition back to Division I play. Next season they join the WAC where they hope to return to the glory days that predated a decision by the school that their athletic department was not worth the monetary investment so they should drop down to Division II. The Redhawks are looking to win their 12th game of the season tonight as they get ready for full status as a member of Division I next season and their quest to eventually return to the promised land that is the Division I men’s basketball tournament.
With this final post, we must also say goodbye to the Small Conference Game of the Night for the 2011-12 season. But we will be back next year, to once again highlight the obscure, the meaningless, and the fun games that you tend not to hear about on SportsCenter.