CIT First Round Preview: Sacramento State at Portland


When Portland Pilot fans talk about the Eric Reveno “Glory Years” they talk about a three year period when the Pilots won over 60 games and made three post-season appearances. All of those appearances were in the CIT, the same tournament the Pilots will compete in this season.

Portland will host the Big Sky’s Sacramento State, a team the Pilots beat 80-75 back in December in Sacramento. The hornets finished 20-11, and 13-5 in conference, including a nice win over NCAA participant Eastern Washington, to finish 3rd in the Big Sky.

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In their previous matchup, the Pilots were without Kevin Bailey, and they struggled to put Sac State away. Thomas van der Mars did come through with 20 points on an uber-efficient 9-10 shooting. Bobby Sharp also added 16 points as he got the start in Bailey’s absence. Big Sky player of the Year Mikh McKinney killed the Pilots scoring 32 points.

So remember when I told you about the “Glory Years”? In those three CIT appearances, the Pilots walked away with an 0-3 record. This year they hope things are different as for the first time they will host a tournament game.

To secure that first post-season win in school history, the Pilots will need to focus on stopping McKinney. If they can keep him in check, and can find some consistent offense the Pilots could run away with this one.

Portland has been up and down all year long and while they played well at the WCC tournament, it was only two weeks ago that they looked lifeless in a huge game against San Diego. If we get the team that showed up against Saint Mary’s we’re looking at an easy win. If we get the team that lost to San Diego, we may be in for a frustrating night.