MISSOULA — The Montana men's basketball team will be on the road for the first weekend of Big Sky Conference play, the league announced Tuesday.
The Griz will start league play at Sacramento State (Dec. 2) and Northern Colorado (Dec. 4) as the conference returns to its normal schedule format of 20-games with series split against different locations as schools will again get a shot at all others with games both home and away. The Big Sky had teams play a modified schedule last season, which included 16 games with series against the same opponent in the same venue because of the pandemic and travel concerns at the time.
The Big Sky Conference tournament is scheduled to open March 9 in Boise, Idaho.
After Christmas Montana will have its home-opener against Idaho State Dec. 30 and then will face a potentially strong Weber State team on New Year's Day on Jan. 1.
The rivalry game against Montana State will be the usual day-night doubleheader, with the first game in Bozeman on Jan. 8 and will come to Missoula on Feb. 26. Just before the first rivalry game in Bozeman, the Griz will travel to Eastern Washington for a Jan. 6 game.
Montana has zero Monday games, and tip times and television and streaming schedules will be announced later. Most games will be on ESPN+ after the league and ESPN reach a media rights deal earlier this summer.
The regular season conference slate will end the same way it started with a series against Northern Colorado and Sac State, this time at home.
Seven of Montana's final 11 games will be at home after a road-dominant start to the conference slate including the final three against Montana State, Northern Colorado and Sac State.
The upcoming season will also be the final time Montana will face Southern Utah as Big Sky opponents, as the latter will officially join the Western Athletic Conference starting in 2022-23. Montana plays Southern Utah Jan. 13 at home and Feb. 24 in Cedar City, Utah.
As for the rest of the schedule, the Griz have one known nonconference game scheduled with the squad scheduled to host Air Force Dec. 8.