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Big Sky semifinals recap: North Dakota moves to the brink of history

The Fighting Hawks are 40 minutes away from their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

NCAA Basketball: North Dakota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

North Dakota withstands a late rally by Idaho

The Fighting Hawks almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after they watched a nine-point lead evaporate in the last five minutes against Idago. A pair of Cody Sherwood free throws pulled the Vandals even at 63-63 with 2:08 remaining. Geno Crandall hit two free throws of his own, and then Corey Baldwin hit a dagger three to seal the 69-64 win for North Dakota. UND continued its balanced scoring attack as four starters posted double-digit scoring totals. The Fighting Hawks’ victory sets up a date with history. Weber State is now the only obstacle standing between North Dakota and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

A late run propels Weber State over Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington led 63-61 with just over five and a half minutes remaining before Weber State went on a 13-2 run that ultimately put the game out of reach. From there, the Wildcats cruised to an 80-72 victory. Eastern Washington’s stellar front-court duo of Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk combined for 56 points, but the rest of the team contributed just 16 points. Weber State played just seven players the entire game, including getting 39 and 37 minutes from Jeremy Senglin and Jerrick Harding, respectively. The Wildcats are headed back to the Big Sky Tournament championship for the fifth time in the last six years.

North Dakota and Weber State will square off in the Big Sky Tournament championship at 5:30 PT on ESPNU.