CEDAR CITY, Utah, March 9 - Southern Utah's men's basketball team had never played North Dakota in men's basketball prior to this season but the two newest teams in the Big Sky will meet each other for the third time this season -- and the second in as many games -- in the first round of the BSC tournament next Thursday in Missoula, Mont.

Southern Utah finished in a three-way tie with Northern Arizona and Sacramento State in sixth place in the conference at 8-12. According the BSC tie-breaking procedure, when multiple teams are tied the combined head-to-head records of the schools are used as the first tie-breaker. SUU went 3-1 against the other two, sweeping NAU and splitting with Sac State, while NAU went 2-2 after sweeping the Hornets, who went 1-3 and were thus eliminated. The Thunderbirds then wound up with the six seed by virtue of their sweep of Northern Arizona.

North Dakota (12-8) enters the tournament as the third-seeded team, setting up the re-match with SUU. The two teams played in Grand Forks, N.D. on Saturday, with UND coming away with a 68-61 win. SUU beat UND, 79-68, in December.

"We're excited to qualify for the tournament and to have an opportunity to play North Dakota," SUU Coach Nick Robinson said. "I'm happy for our guys and our coaches, our fans and our administration."

Montana earned the right to host the tournament and a first-round bye after finishing off a 19-1 conference schedule with a 63-50 win over NAU on Saturday.

Weber State takes the No. 2 seed by virtue of its 18-2 BSC record and will face Northern Arizona at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, while fourth-seeded Montana State (10-10) will square off with fifth seed Northern Colorado (10-10) at 8:00 p.m.

All the games will be played at Montana's Dahlberg Arena.

-- SUU --