UPDATE AT 1:30 P.M., MARCH 12: The NCAA has canceled the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to COVID-19. This means the EWU men’s basketball team will not play in what would have been its third berth into the tournament. The NCAA also announced that all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships are canceled.
UPDATE AT 10 A.M., MARCH 12: The Big Sky Conference Basketball Tournament has been canceled amidst concerns surrounding COVID-19. EWU is the de facto champ and will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE PUBLISHED ON MARCH 10: After registering a record 16 Big Sky victories and winning the outright league crown, the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball team just needs three wins in three days to join the 2004 and 2015 squads in advancing to the Big Dance. The winner of the Big Sky Conference Basketball Tournament wins an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The men will take on Sacramento State this Thursday (March 12) at 11 a.m. Pacific time in the quarterfinal round of the Big Sky Tournament. The games are being played at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
How to Catch the Games
- RADIO: EWU games are on 700-AM ESPN and 105.3-FM in the Spokane/Cheney area with Larry Weir calling the play-by-play. The championship game will also be carried on Westwood One (John Sadak/Dan Dickau).
- TV: Quarterfinal and semifinal games will be on Eleven Sports (Jon Oglesby/Joe Cravens); the championship game will be on ESPNU (Eric Rothman/Richie Schueler).
Coach of the Year
In just his third season at the helm, EWU men’s basketball head coach Shantay Legans was voted the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year. Legans guided the team to a 23–8 overall record and a Big Sky Regular Season Championship.
“I’m so humbled to receive the Big Sky Coach of the Year Award, especially among the group of outstanding coaches in this conference,” said Legans. “But make no mistake, this is a team award. Coaches are only as good as their players and staff, and I have an amazing group of guys who not only make my job easy, but a blast. Our players have worked their butts off, and I have an amazing staff who also work tirelessly to get better every single day. They’ve all bought into the culture we’ve instilled since day one, and that’s the reason we are where we are today.”
Legans is now 59-41 in his three years as head coach for a .590 winning percentage.
Women’s Season Comes to a Close
The EWU women’s basketball team battled until the end, but its 2019-20 season came to a close Monday (March 9) in the opening round of the Big Sky Conference Championships behind the hands of Portland State, 83–70.
Four scored in double figures, led by a career-high 20 points from freshman Kennedy Dickie. Grace Kirscher (17), Bella Cravens (14) and Jenna Dick (12) also scored in double figures, while Cravens and Dickie finished with seven rebounds each.
Eastern Washington ended the 2019-20 season with a 4-26 overall record.