Ogden • There are two ways to go when playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament: sulk or embrace the opportunity.
Weber State's attitude can be judged by the margin of victory in its first two CIT victories, 42 and 21 points, respectively. On Wednesday, the Wildcats (28-6) can advance to the semifinals with a successful result against visiting Oral Roberts (20-14), a team WSU defeated earlier this season in Tulsa, Okla., during the BracketBuster weekend.
"It's fantastic," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said about his team's tournament run, which includes the single-season school and Big Sky record for victories. "It's a great reward for our kids, it's a great reward for our seniors, to keep playing. It's also great for our younger kids, to experience postseason play and then to also have some success."
Not that Weber State has struggled. The Wildcats have won 13 straight in the Dee Events Center and 15 of their last 16 overall.
WSU's only loss and it was an important one was a 3-point defeat at Montana in the final of the Big Sky Conference Tournament. A hiccup, said WSU guard Scott Bamforth.
Last season, the 'Cats faced the same scenario, and didn't bring their best game in losing to Loyola Marymount in the second round.
This time, Weber State appears charged up and focused. For example, WSU center Kyle Tresnak has missed two shots in 21 attempts.
"We're not tired. We like basketball," said Bamforth, who set the WSU career mark for 3-point baskets (247) in the 78-57 win Saturday against Air Force. "It didn't go our way at Montana, but we played a good game. We feel like if it had been at any other place, we would have beaten Montana in the tournament, we would have been in the NCAA Tournament. Neutral site, I feel like we're the best team in the Big Sky."
Weber State vs. Oral Roberts
O At the Dee Events Center (Ogden)
Tipoff • 7 p.m.
TV • None; Radio • 106.9 FM
Records • ORU 20-14; WSU 28-6
Series history • WSU leads 3-2
Last meeting • WSU 70, Oral Roberts 66 (Feb. 23)
About the Golden Eagles • ORU defeated UC Irvine 76-62 to advance in the CIT. … Warren Niles averages 18.9 points. … Former Utah player Shawn Glover was voted second team All-Southland Conference.
About the Wildcats • WSU defeated ORU in Tulsa, Okla., earlier this season in the BracketBuster. … Scott Bamforth has made 12 3-point baskets and scored 44 points in two CIT games. … Kyle Tresnak shot 19 of 21 in two CIT games.