Big Sky Conference

Last updated

Big Sky Conference
Big Sky Conference logo.svg
Established1963, 56 years ago
Association NCAA
Division Division I
Subdivision FCS
Members11 full-time
Sports fielded
  • 16
    • men's: 7
    • women's: 9
Region Western United States
Headquarters Ogden, Utah
CommissionerTom Wistrcill
Website bigskyconf.com
Locations
Big Sky Map.svg

The Big Sky Conference is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division I, with football competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. Member institutions are located in the western United States in the nine states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Four affiliate members each participate in one sport. Two schools from California are football-only participants, and two schools from the Northeast participate only in men's golf.

An athletic conference is a collection of sports teams, playing competitively against each other at the professional, collegiate, or high school level. In many cases conferences are subdivided into smaller divisions, with the best teams competing at successively higher levels. Conferences often, but not always, include teams from a common geographic region.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Non-profit organization that regulates many American college athletes and programs

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

NCAA Division I highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.

Contents

History

Initially conceived for basketball, [1] [2] the Big Sky was founded 56 years ago in 1963 with six members in four states; [3] [4] four of the charter members have been in the league from its founding, and a fifth returned in 2014 after an 18-year absence.

The name "Big Sky" came from the popular 1947 western novel by A. B. Guthrie Jr.; it was proposed by Harry Missildine, a sports columnist of the Spokesman-Review just prior to the founding meetings of the conference in Spokane in February 1963, [5] [6] and was adopted with the announcement of the new conference five days later. [3] [4]

<i>The Big Sky</i> (novel) novel

The Big Sky is a 1947 Western novel by A. B. Guthrie, Jr. It is the first of six novels in Guthrie's sequence dealing with the Oregon Trail and the development of Montana from 1830, the time of the mountain men, to "the cattle empire of the 1880s to the near present." The first three books of the six in chronological story sequence — The Big Sky, The Way West, and Fair Land, Fair Land — are in themselves a complete trilogy, starting in the 1830s and ending in the 1870s.

Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr. was an American novelist, screenwriter, historian, and literary historian known for writing western stories. His novel The Way West won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and his screenplay for Shane (1953) was nominated for an Academy Award.

Spokane, Washington City in Washington, United States

Spokane is a city in Spokane County in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States. It is located on the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, 92 miles (148 km) south of the Canada–US border, 18 miles (30 km) from the Washington–Idaho border, and 228 miles (367 km) east of Seattle along Interstate 90.

Starting in 1968, the conference competed at the highest level (university division) in all sports except football (college division). The sole exception was Idaho, in the university division for football through 1977 (except 1967, 1968). [7]

Idaho Vandals football

The Idaho Vandals are the college football team that represents the University of Idaho and plays its home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho. Idaho is a member of the Big Sky Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The current head coach is Paul Petrino, who began his tenure in 2013.

The 1977 Idaho Vandals football team represented the University of Idaho in the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. The Vandals were led by fourth-year head coach Ed Troxel and were members of the Big Sky Conference, then in Division II. They played their home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho.

In 1974, half of the Big Sky's ten sports were dropped (baseball, skiing, swimming, golf, and tennis), leaving football, basketball, wrestling, track, and cross country. [8] [9]

Women's sports were added 31 years ago in 1988, moving from the women's-only Mountain West Athletic Conference (1982–88).

The Mountain West Athletic Conference (MWAC) was a women's college athletic conference in the western United States.

Fiftieth anniversary

The 2012–13 season marked the completion of a half century of athletic competition and a quarter century sponsoring women's collegiate athletics. Before the season the league introduced a new logo to celebrate this.

The 25th season of women's athletics also marked a first for the league, as Portland State won the league's inaugural softball championship. From 1982 to 1988, women's sports were conducted in the Mountain West Athletic Conference.

The Big Sky sponsors championships in sixteen sports, including men's and women's cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track and field, basketball, and tennis. There are also championships in football, and in women's volleyball, soccer, and softball. [10] |

Members

Full members

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedEnrollmentNicknameColors
Eastern Washington University Cheney, Washington 1882198713,453 Eagles          
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho 18891963, 2014 [a 1] 11,534 Vandals          
Idaho State University Pocatello, Idaho 1901196315,553 Bengals          
University of Montana Missoula, Montana 1893196310,092 Grizzlies [a 2]          
Montana State University Bozeman, Montana 1893196316,069 Bobcats          
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona 1899197027,715 Lumberjacks          
University of Northern Colorado Greeley, Colorado 1889200612,087 Bears          
Portland State University Portland, Oregon 1946199628,241 Vikings               
California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, California 1947199628,811 Hornets          
Southern Utah University Cedar City, Utah 189720127,656 Thunderbirds          
Weber State University Ogden, Utah 1889196327,949 Wildcats          
  1. Idaho departed for the Big West Conference in 1996; rejoined the Big Sky for all sports but football in 2014; rejoined for football in 2018.
  2. The Montana women's basketball team is known as the Lady Griz, but all other women's teams are known as Grizzlies.

North Dakota left the Big Sky in 2018, with its non-football sports joining the Summit League. [11] The football team became an FCS independent for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, but continues to play a full Big Sky football schedule due to contractual commitments. In those seasons, football games against North Dakota will count in the Big Sky standings for their opponents. Afterwards, North Dakota will join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020. [12]

Affiliate members

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedTypeEnrollmentEndowment 2014)NicknameColorsPrimary
conference
Big Sky
sport
Binghamton University, SUNY Vestal, New York 19462014Public16,695$101,414,229 Bearcats                America East Men's golf
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California 19012012Public20,186$207,485,860 Mustangs                Big West Football
University of California, Davis Davis, California 19052012Public35,415$968,230,000 Aggies           Big West Football
University of Hartford West Hartford, Connecticut 18772014Private7,025$146,113,000 Hawks           America East Men's golf

Former members

InstitutionLocationFoundedJoinedLeftTypeEnrollmentNicknameSubsequent conference membership
Boise State University Boise, Idaho 193219701996Public22,678 Broncos Big West (1996–2001)
WAC (2001–2011)
Mountain West (2011–present)
California State University, Northridge Northridge, California 195819962001Public36,070 Matadors Big West (2001–present)
Gonzaga University Spokane, Washington 188719631979Private7,764 Bulldogs WCC (1979–present)
University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 187419791992Public18,227 Wolf Pack Big West (1992–2000)
WAC (2000–2012)
Mountain West (2012–present)
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 188320122018Public14,906 Fighting Hawks Summit League (2018–present)
Notes

Membership timeline

University of HartfordBinghamton UniversityUniversity of California, DavisCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySouthern Utah UniversitySummit LeagueUniversity of North DakotaUniversity of Northern ColoradoPortland State UniversityCalifornia State University, SacramentoBig West ConferenceCalifornia State University, NorthridgeEastern Washington UniversityMountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceUniversity of Nevada, RenoNorthern Arizona UniversityMountain West ConferenceWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceBoise State UniversityWeber State UniversityMontana State UniversityUniversity of MontanaIdaho State UniversityWestern Athletic ConferenceBig West ConferenceUniversity of IdahoWest Coast ConferenceGonzaga UniversityBig Sky Conference

Full membersAssoc. members (football only)Full members (except football)Assoc. members (other sports)Other conferenceOther conference

Sports

Usa edcp relief location map.png
Blue pog.svg
Eastern Washington
Blue pog.svg
Idaho
Blue pog.svg
Idaho State
Blue pog.svg
Montana
Blue pog.svg
Montana State
Blue pog.svg
Northern Arizona
Blue pog.svg
Northern Colorado
Blue pog.svg
Portland State
Blue pog.svg
Sacramento State
Blue pog.svg
Southern Utah
Blue pog.svg
Weber State
Orange pog.svg
Binghamton
Yellow pog.svg
Cal Poly
Yellow pog.svg
UC Davis
Orange pog.svg
Hartford
Blue pog.svg – Full members
Yellow pog.svg – Only members for football
Orange pog.svg – Only members for men's golf

As of the 2016–17 school year, the Big Sky sponsors championships in seven men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports. [13] Each core member institution is required to participate in all of the 13 core sports. Men's core sports are basketball, cross country, football, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and tennis. Women's core sports are basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis, and volleyball.

Cal Poly and UC Davis participate as football-only affiliates, otherwise participating in the Big West Conference. Binghamton and Hartford are affiliates in men's golf only, otherwise participating in the America East Conference. Before the 2014–15 school year, the latter two schools had participated in men's golf alongside five full Big Sky members in the single-sport America Sky Conference. [14] The return of Idaho brought the number of members participating in men's golf to six, which led to the Big Sky adding men's golf and absorbing the America Sky Conference.

Baseball

The Big Sky is unusual among Division I all-sports conferences in not sponsoring baseball. The conference originally sponsored baseball in 1964, with all members participating. When Boise State and Northern Arizona arrived for the 1971 season, competition was split into two divisions of four teams each, with the winners in a best-of-three championship series. [15] [16] Montana State [17] and Montana soon dropped the sport and by the 1973 season, only six teams remained but the divisions were kept, and Boise State moved over to the North Division for two years. [18]

In May 1974, the Big Sky announced its intention to discontinue five of its ten sponsored sports. It retained football, basketball, cross-country, track, and wrestling, and dropped conference competition in baseball, golf, tennis, swimming, and skiing. [8] [9] Of the eleven Big Sky baseball titles, four each went to Idaho (1964,'66,'67,'69) [19] and Gonzaga (1965,'71,'73,'74), and three to Weber State (1968,'70,'72). [20] Gonzaga won the final title in 1974 over Idaho State in three games, after losing the first game in Pocatello. [21] Southern division champion Idaho State chose to end its baseball program weeks following the conference's announcement, [22] and Gonzaga, Idaho, and Boise State joined the new Northern Pacific Conference (NorPac) for baseball in 1975. [23] Boise State and Idaho competed in the NorPac for six seasons, then discontinued baseball after the 1980 season. [24] [25]

In 2016, North Dakota announced on April 12 that it was their last baseball season. [26] As of 2017, only Northern Colorado and Sacramento State compete in the sport, both as affiliate members in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

Teams in Big Sky Conference competition
SportMen'sWomen's
Basketball
11
11
Cross country
11
11
Football
13
-
Golf
7
11
Soccer
-
10
Softball
-
7
Tennis
11
11
Track and field (Indoor)
11
11
Track and field (Outdoor)
11
11
Volleyball
-
11

Men's sponsored sports by school

School BasketballCross
country
FootballGolfTennisTrack and field
(indoor)
Track and field
(outdoor)
Total
Sports
Eastern Washington
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Idaho
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
7
Idaho State
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Montana
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Montana State
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Northern Arizona
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Northern Colorado
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
7
Portland State
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Red x.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
6
Sacramento State
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
7
Southern Utah
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
7
Weber State
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
Green check.svg
7
Totals
11
11
11+2 [lower-alpha 1]
5+2 [lower-alpha 2]
11
11
11
69+4
  1. Affiliates Cal Poly and UC Davis.
  2. Affiliates Binghamton and Hartford.

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big Sky Conference which are played by Big Sky schools:

SchoolBaseballSkiingSoccerWrestling
Montana StateNoIndependentNoNo
Northern Colorado WAC NoNo Big 12
Sacramento State WAC No Big West No

    Women's sponsored sports by school

    School BasketballCross
    country
    GolfSoccerSoftballTennisTrack and field
    (indoor)
    Track and field
    (outdoor)
    VolleyballTotal
    Sports
    Eastern Washington
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Red x.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    8
    Idaho
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Red x.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    8
    Idaho State
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Montana
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Montana State
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Red x.svg
    Red x.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    7
    Northern Arizona
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Red x.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    8
    Northern Colorado
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Portland State
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Sacramento State
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Southern Utah
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Weber State
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    Green check.svg
    9
    Totals
    11
    11
    11
    10
    7
    11
    11
    11
    11
    94

    Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Big Sky Conference which are played by Big Sky schools:

    SchoolBeach volleyballGymnasticsRowingSkiingSwimming
    IdahoNoNoNoNo WAC
    Montana StateNoNoNoIndependentNo
    Northern ArizonaNoNoNoNo WAC
    Northern ColoradoNoNoNoNo WAC
    Sacramento StateIndependent MPSF The American NoNo
    Southern UtahNo Mountain Rim NoNoNo

      Facilities

      SchoolFootball stadiumCapacityBasketball arenaCapacity
      Cal Poly Alex G. Spanos Stadium 11,075Football-only member
      Eastern Washington Roos Field 8,600 Reese Court 6,000
      Idaho Kibbie Dome 16,000 Cowan Spectrum
      Memorial Gymnasium [lower-alpha 1]
      7,000
      2,500
      Idaho State Holt Arena 12,000 Holt Arena (men)
      Reed Gym (women)
      8,000
      3,040
      Montana Washington–Grizzly Stadium 25,203 Dahlberg Arena 7,321
      Montana State Bobcat Stadium 20,767 Worthington Arena 7,250
      Northern Arizona Walkup Skydome 10,000 Walkup Skydome 7,000
      Northern Colorado Nottingham Field 8,533 [27] Bank of Colorado Arena 2,992
      Portland State Hillsboro Stadium 7,600 Viking Pavilion 3,094
      Sacramento State Hornet Stadium 21,195 Colberg Court 1,012 [28]
      Southern Utah Eccles Coliseum 8,500 America First Event Center 5,300
      UC Davis Aggie Stadium 10,367Football-only member
      Weber State Stewart Stadium 17,500 Dee Events Center 11,500
      1. The Idaho men's basketball team plays early-season home games at Memorial Gym, home of the Vandals volleyball team. The university is preparing to build Idaho Central Credit Union Arena (capacity 4,200) for its basketball and volleyball teams, with a projected opening date of August 2021.

      Basketball

      Current NBA players

      Conference rivalries

      Non-conference rivalries

      Rivalries

      Protected football rivalries

      SchoolRival 1Rival 2
      UC DavisCal PolySacramento State
      Cal PolyUC DavisSacramento State
      Eastern WashingtonIdahoPortland State
      IdahoMontanaEastern Washington
      Idaho StateWeber StatePortland State
      MontanaMontana StateIdaho
      Montana StateMontanaNorth Dakota
      North DakotaMontana StateNorthern Colorado
      Northern ArizonaSouthern UtahNorthern Colorado
      Northern ColoradoNorth DakotaNorthern Arizona
      Portland StateEastern WashingtonIdaho State
      Sacramento StateUC DavisCal Poly
      Southern UtahNorthern ArizonaWeber State
      Weber StateIdaho StateSouthern Utah

      [29]

      Conference

      SchoolsFirst
      Meeting
      GameWinner
      (Last Meeting)
      All-time Record
      Cal Poly UC Davis 1939 Battle for the Golden Horseshoe UC DavisUC Davis leads 20–17–2
      Eastern Washington Montana 1938 EWU-UM Governor's Cup MontanaMontana leads 27–15–1
      Eastern Washington Portland State 1968 Dam Cup Eastern WashingtonPortland State leads 20–17–1
      Idaho Idaho State 1916 Battle of the Domes Idaho StateIdaho leads 28–12
      IdahoMontana1903 Little Brown Stein MontanaIdaho leads 55–27–2
      Montana Montana State 1897 Brawl of the Wild Montana StateMontana leads 71–38–5
      UC Davis Sacramento State 1954 Causeway Classic UC DavisUC Davis leads 39–18
      Southern Utah Northern Arizona 1983 Grand Canyon Rivalry Northern ArizonaNorthern Arizona leads 13-9
      Southern UtahWeber State1984 Beehive Bowl Weber StateWeber State leads 16–7

      Non-conference

      SchoolsFirst
      Meeting
      TrophyWinner
      (Last Meeting)
      All-time RecordNote
      Idaho Boise State 1971 Governor's Cup Boise StateBoise State leads 22–17-1Last competed for in 2010
      Idaho Washington State 1894 Battle of the Palouse Washington StateWashington State leads 72-16-3Last played in 2016

      Commissioners

      Headquarters

      Big Sky championships

      Big Sky men's basketball

      SeasonRegular Season
      Champion(s)
      Tournament
      Champion
      NCAA
      Seed
      RegionWinsAdvancement
      1964 Montana State no tournament
      1965 Weber State
      1966 Weber State, Gonzaga
      1967 Gonzaga, Montana State
      1968 Weber State West 0
      1969 Weber State West 1Round of 16
      1970 Weber State West 0
      1971 Weber State West 0
      1972 Weber State West 1Round of 16
      1973 Weber State West 0
      1974 Idaho State  (playoff over Montana) West 0
      1975 Montana West 1Round of 16
      1976 Weber State, Boise State, Idaho State Boise State West 0
      1977 Idaho State Idaho State West 2Round of 8
      1978 Montana Weber State West 0
      1979 Weber State Weber State7 Midwest 1Round of 32
      1980 Weber State Weber State7 West 0
      1981 Idaho Idaho7 West 0
      1982 Idaho Idaho3 West 1Round of 16
      1983 Nevada, Weber StateWeber State9 West 0
      1984 Weber State Nevada 11 West 0
      1985 NevadaNevada14 West 0
      1986 Northern Arizona, MontanaMontana State16 West 0
      1987 Montana StateIdaho State16 West 0
      1988 Boise StateBoise State14 West 0
      1989 Boise StateIdaho13 West 0
      1990 IdahoIdaho13 West 0
      1991 MontanaMontana16 West 0
      1992 MontanaMontana14 West 0
      1993 IdahoBoise State14 West 0
      1994 Weber State, Idaho StateBoise State14 West 0
      1995 Weber State, MontanaWeber State14 Southeast 1Round of 32
      1996 Montana StateMontana State13 West 0
      1997 Northern ArizonaMontana16 West 0
      1998 Northern ArizonaNo. Arizona15 West 0
      1999 Weber StateWeber State14 West 1Round of 32
      2000Montana, Eastern WashingtonNo. Arizona15 West 0
      2001 Cal State-Northridge CS-Northridge13 Midwest 0
      2002Montana StateMontana15 Midwest 0
      2003Weber StateWeber State12 Midwest 0
      2004 Eastern Washington E. Washington15 East 0
      2005 Portland State Montana16 West 0
      2006 Northern ArizonaMontana12 Midwest 1Round of 32
      2007Weber State, Northern ArizonaWeber State15 West 0
      2008Portland StatePortland State16 Midwest 0
      2009Weber StatePortland State13 East 0
      2010 Weber State Montana14 East 0
      2011 Northern Colorado No. Colorado15 West 0
      2012 Montana Montana13 East 0
      2013 Montana Montana13 East 0
      2014 Weber State Weber State 16 West 0
      2015 Montana E. Washington 13 South 0
      2016 Weber State Weber State15 East 0
      2017 North Dakota North Dakota15 West 0
      2018 Montana Montana14 West 0
      2019 Montana Montana15 West 0

      Basketball championships (by school)

      SchoolMember yearsConference
      Titles
      Tournament
      Titles
      Last won
      Weber State 1963–present22102016
      Montana 1963–present11102018
      Montana State 1963–present522002
      Northern Arizona 1970–present522007
      Idaho 1963–96, 2014–present441993
      Idaho State 1963–present421994
      Boise State 1970–96341989
      Eastern Washington 1987–present222015
      Nevada 1979–92221985
      Portland State 1996–present222009
      Gonzaga 1963–79201967
      Northern Colorado 2006–present112011
      CS-Northridge 1996–2001112001
      North Dakota 2012–2018112017
      Sacramento State 1996–present00N/A
      Southern Utah 2012–present00N/A

      NCAA Tournament

      Since 1968, the Big Sky champion has received a berth in NCAA Tournament; the conference tournament winner has been the representative since its introduction in 1976.

      The best finish by a Big Sky team came in 1977, when the Idaho State Bengals of Jim Killingsworth advanced to the Elite Eight, with a one-point upset of UCLA in the Sweet Sixteen in Provo, Utah. Two days later, the Bengals led UNLV by a point at halftime, but lost by seventeen and finished at 25–5.

      Seeding was introduced in 1979 when it expanded to forty teams, and the highest seed granted a Big Sky team was in 1982: ranked eighth in the final polls with a 26–2 record, the Idaho Vandals under Don Monson were seeded third in the West regional. After a first round bye, they beat Lute Olson's Iowa Hawkeyes in nearby Pullman in overtime, but lost to second-seeded (and fourth-ranked) Oregon State in the regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen), also played in Provo. (Idaho had defeated OSU by 22 points in December in the Far West Classic at Portland.)

      Other Big Sky teams that advanced to regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) include the Weber State Wildcats in 1969 and 1972, when the total field was 25 teams, and the Montana Grizzlies under Jud Heathcote in the 32-team field in 1975. The Griz fell to UCLA by just three points, who went on to win another title in John Wooden's final year as head coach. (A year later, Heathcote was hired at Michigan State with Monson as an assistant for the first two years; in his third season, the Spartans won the national title in 1979.)

      Since 1982, only three teams from the Big Sky have advanced within the NCAA tournament, and none past the round of 32. Weber State won in 1995 and 1999, coached by Ron Abegglen, and Montana in 2006, led by alumnus Larry Krystkowiak. Prior to Idaho in 1982, the Big Sky had been seeded seventh (Weber State, 1979 & 1980; and Idaho, 1981); the highest seed for the conference since 1982 is ninth (Weber State, 1983), and the highest since expanding to 64 teams in 1985 is twelfth (Weber State in 2003; Montana in 2006).

      Through 2018, the Big Sky has yet to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The first NIT appearance for the conference was Idaho in 1983; two Big Sky teams advanced to the NIT's round of 16: Weber State (1984) and Boise State (1987).

      Big Sky women's basketball

      SeasonTournament ChampionTournament Runner-Up
      1983 Montana Weber State
      1984Montana Eastern Washington
      1985 Idaho Montana
      1986MontanaEastern Washington
      1987Eastern WashingtonMontana
      1988MontanaEastern Washington
      1989MontanaIdaho
      1990MontanaIdaho
      1991MontanaMontana State
      1992Montana Boise State
      1993Montana StateMontana
      1994MontanaBoise State
      1995MontanaMontana State
      1996MontanaWeber State
      1997MontanaMontana State
      1998Montana Northern Arizona
      1999 CS Northridge Portland State
      2000MontanaCS-Northridge
      2001 Idaho State Montana
      2002Weber StateMontana State
      2003Weber StateMontana State
      2004MontanaIdaho State
      2005MontanaWeber State
      2006Northern ArizonaWeber State
      2007Idaho StateNorthern Arizona
      2008MontanaMontana State
      2009MontanaPortland State
      2010Portland StateMontana State
      2011MontanaPortland State
      2012Idaho StateNorthern Colorado
      2013MontanaNorthern Colorado
      2014 North Dakota Montana
      2015MontanaNorthern Colorado
      2016IdahoIdaho State
      2017Montana StateMontana State
      2018Northern ColoradoNorthern Colorado
      2019 Portland State Eastern Washington

      Big Sky football titles

      Season, conference record, [39] [40] and champion

      ^ - winner of head-to-head matchup(s) in conference game(s) during the regular season. ^^ - vacated due to NCAA violations

      Football championships (by school)

      Schoolmember yearstotal titlesLast won
      Montana 1963–present18 2009
      Montana State 1963–present15 2012
      Eastern Washington 1987–present10 2018
      Idaho 1965–95
      2018–future
      8 1992
      Boise State 1970–956 1994
      Nevada 1979–9241991
      Weber State 1963–present5 2018
      Idaho State 1963–present32002
      Northern Arizona 1970–present22003
      Southern Utah 2012–present2 2017
      Cal Poly 2012–present1 2012
      North Dakota 2012–20171 2016
      UC Davis 2012–present1 2018
      Cal State Northridge 1996–20010
      Sacramento State 1996–present0
      Portland State 1996–present0
      Northern Colorado 2006–present0

      All-time school records by wins for current teams

      This list goes through the 2013 season.

      #TeamRecordsPct.Big Sky
      Championships
      National
      Championships
      1North Dakota622-383-30.61501
      2Montana564-478-26.540182
      3Eastern Washington503-404-23.55371
      4UC Davis495-384-35.56100
      5Cal Poly485-383-19.55711
      6Montana State470-467-33.502153
      7Idaho State449-488-21.48031
      8Northern Arizona445-438-23.50420
      9Northern Colorado425-450-26.48602
      10Portland State331-354-10.48300
      11Weber State266-294-3.47530
      12Sacramento State263-351-8.42900
      13Southern Utah261-319-13.45111

      Overall Big Sky Conference champions

      Boise State Broncos (1970–1996)Cal State Northridge Matadors (1996–2001)Eastern Washington Eagles (1987– )Gonzaga Bulldogs (1963–1979)Idaho State Bengals (1963– )Montana State Bobcats (1963– )Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (1970– )Portland State Vikings (1996– )Sacramento State Hornets (1996– )Idaho Vandals (1963–1996)Nevada Wolf Pack (1979–1992)Northern Colorado Bears (2006– )Montana Grizzlies (1963– )Weber State Wildcats (1963– )
      Football67315284183
      Men's Basketball21122542411822
      Women's Basketball (RS/Tourn)1/01/11/13/33/11/11/11/11/021/202/2
      Men's Cross Country252182387
      Women's Cross Country415124
      Men's Indoor Track and Field25122115
      Women's Indoor Track and Field631172114
      Men's Outdoor Track and Field1121154219
      Women's Outdoor Track and Field631173115
      Men's Tennis512421010211
      Women's Tennis21239110
      Women's Soccer121144
      Volleyball11531511323
      Women's Golf11154111
      Men's Golf11122617
      Baseball (1963–74)443
      Men's Swimming (1963–74)28
      Wrestling (1963–87)107312
      Men's Skiing (1963–74)1423
      Total

      Football

      Basketball

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