As far as the tournament goes, the women’s side of the Frontier Conference is set. The Men’s? Not so much so. We do know that Montana Tech will be the #1 seed and get a first-round bye, after that, the water gets incredibly murky. (Insert Butte dirty water joke here)

The men’s conference standings going into the final regular season game.

#11 Montana Tech       11-3        23-4
MSU Northern               7-7        18-9
Providence                    7-7       13-14
Carroll                            6-8      11-16
UM Western                   6-8      11-16
Rocky                             5-9      13-13

We could easily have a 4-way tie for 2nd place. To further cement that idea. Here are this Saturday’s games:

Providence @ Carroll – (Providence has won both matchups this year)
Montana Tech @ Northern – (1-1 with the home team winning)
Rocky @ Western (1-1 home teams winning)

If Tech beats Northern, Carroll beats Providence, and Western takes down Rocky, there would be a four-way tie for second place. Not even remotely out of the realm of possibilities.

The ‘big one’ is the battle for second place and a first-round bye in the Frontier Tournament. The ONLY bonus of the Frontier schools playing each other 3 times, is it makes tiebreakers really easy. If we narrow the focus to Northern and Providence, the Argos have the tie-breaker, going 2-1 with Northern on the year.

Things get a bit chippy in the second half. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
Things get a bit chippy in the second half. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

I checked in with Frontier Conference Commish Kent Paulson this morning about the possibility of more than 2 teams tying. He told me that the 3 (or 4) schools’ records against one another would be compared, the best would be the highest seed, then the remaining schools would be compared again, and down the line. IF two schools are tied with the best record, then they would again look at their head-to-head records.

Keeley Bake reacts to MSU-Northern pressure Thursday night at Kelvin Sampson Court. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
Keeley Bake reacts to MSU-Northern pressure at Kelvin Sampson Court. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

This is an interesting year for the game to go to a neutral site. I think if we ran the tournament as we have for the last 15 years, where the highest seeds host, I don’t think any road team wins. The schools have defended home court incredibly this year. We have 42 conference games played so far this season, and of those 30 have been won by the home team. Montana Tech has 3 road wins, Rocky has 1, and everyone else has 2. That’s it.

The tournament at a neutral site changes everything. The parity in the league this year is incredible, and I think that will be made apparent by the time the Frontier Conference tournament is over.

The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic invitation to the 64-team national tournament. The first two rounds of the National Tournament will be played at 16 regional, 4-team ‘pods’.

Montana Tech is still in great shape to possibly host one of those pods March 7-8.

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