With a win over Idaho on Saturday, the Bengals can lock up third place in the Big Sky, guaranteeing them a first-round bye in the Big Sky tournament.
Or with a loss, Idaho State can fall to as low as fifth. That depends on the outcome between North Dakota and Montana State.
But the game that matters most for the Bengals is their own Saturday against the Vandals at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow.
In fact, by the time the game tips off at 8 p.m., the Bengals will know if they’ll need a win to secure a first-round bye.
Regardless of what happens elsewhere, if Idaho State beats Idaho, the Bengals will be the No. 3 seed in the Big Sky tournament. If Idaho State loses to Idaho and North Dakota beats Montana State, the Bengals will be the No. 5 seed. If Idaho State and North Dakota both lose, the Bengals will be the No. 4 seed.
But knocking off the Vandals and claiming the third seed will be no easy task for the Bengals. Statistically, Idaho is the best team in the Big Sky in defense and rebounding. Idaho boasts the top scoring defense in the Big Sky, yielding 65.4 points per game. The Vandals also have the second-best field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 41 percent from the floor. Idaho averages 38 rebounds per game (second in the Big Sky) and hold opponents to 29.5 rebounds per game (first in the Big Sky).
But where the Vandals struggle is on offense. With one player inside the top 25 in the league in scoring, Idaho is scoring a league-low 69.3 points per game.