The Boise State men's basketball team may have struggled in conference play this season, but the Broncos are looking to make a run in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament as they play the No. 1 seeded Utah State, Thursday, at 1 p.m. (MT).
For just the third time this season, the Broncos game will be broadcast on one of the ESPN networks as thursday's game against the Aggies can be seen on ESPNU with Todd Harris taking care of play-by-play while Stephen Howard provides commentary. This season, Boise State is 1-1 in games aired on national television, as the Broncos fell earlier in the season at Illinois, but posted a thrilling overtime win at Idaho.
Since taking over the helm of the Boise State basketball program, the Broncos have posted a record of 7-6 in the WAC tournament under head coach Greg Graham. However, of the seven times Boise State has appeared in the conference tournament under Graham, the Broncos have lost in the first round of play four times, including last season's 70-80 loss to New Mexico State.
In the Broncos favor entering this year's tournament is their record against Utah State in the postseason. Boise State has only faced the Aggies once in the conference tournament, but the Broncos posted an incredible 88-78 win in 2008. That win put Boise State in the championship game, where they beat New Mexico State, 107-102, in triple overtime to give the Broncos its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1994.
About Utah State...
Utah State is 8-3 (.727) all-time in the WAC Tournament, advancing to the championship game three times (2006, 2007, 2009) in its first four years in the league. Under head coach Stew Morrill, USU is 21-6 (.778) in postseason conference tournaments and has won five tournament championships (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009). During the last 10 years, USU has played in its conference's postseason tournament championship game eight times.
Utah State is 12-5 (.706) all-time as the No. 1 seed in conference tournaments and has won three tournament championships as the top seed (1998, 2000, 2009). Overall, it is the ninth time in school history that USU has entered postseason play as the No. 1 seed. USU is also 15-14 all-time in quarterfinal games and has won eight straight such games.
Utah State enters the WAC Tournament on a 15-game winning streak, which is the fourth-longest in school history and the second-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Butler who has won 19 straight games. Overall, USU has won 19 of its last 21 games after starting the year with a 6-4 record.
All-Time Series Notes Against Utah State...
The All-Time Series: Since becoming a Division I program, the Broncos are just 8-24 all-time against Utah State ... However, Boise State joined the WAC during the 2001-02 season and since then have posted a record of 4-10 against the Aggies ... However, the Broncos beat the Aggies 88-78 the only time the two have faced off in the WAC Tournament.
Coach Graham vs. Utah State: Since taking over at the helm of the Boise State program, the Broncos have typically given the Aggies a challenge, owning an all-time record of 3-8 ... In fact, Boise State has posted at least one win over Utah State in each of the last three seasons ... Two of the three wins under Coach Graham have come on the Broncos home floor, while the third came at a neutral site during the 2008 WAC Tournament.
Boise State vs. The Western Athletic Conference: Boise State owns an all-time record of 136-146 vs. opponents currently members of the WAC ... Boise State head coach Greg Graham is 65-69 overall against conference opponents since taking over the helm of the men's basketball program.
Last Time vs. Utah State: Jared Quayle scored 14 points and Tai Wesley added 13 to lead Utah State to a 72-67 victory over Boise State ... The win was the ninth in a row for Utah State ... Boise State dropped into last place in the nine-team conference ... Wesley scored nine of the Aggies' first 10 second-half points and his fast-break layup gave Utah State its first double-digit lead at 45-35 with 16:41 remaining. Quayle followed with two free throws and Nate Bendall added a basket to complete a 10-0 run that gave Utah State a 14-point lead with just under 15 minutes left ... Boise State used an 18-6 run to pull within 63-59 with 2:09 remaining on Anthony Thomas' layup. The Broncos got within two points twice in the final 20 seconds ... Thomas scored 15 points to lead Boise State.
Last Time at the WAC Tournament ...
New Mexico State 80, Boise State 70
Reno, Nevada (AP) - Jonathan Gibson scored 22 points and Jahmar Young and Hernst Laroche each had 16 to lead New Mexico State past Boise State 80-70 in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament.
Wendell McKines added 12 points and 13 rebounds Thursday for the fifth-seeded Aggies. They advance to Friday's semifinal against the winner of Thursday's quarterfinal between top-seeded Utah State and the last seed Fresno State.
Mark Sanchez had 25 points and 12 rebounds and Anthony Thomas had 18 points for the fourth-seeded Broncos.
Leading 38-36 at the half, Gibson made his first three attempts from 3-point range to help put New Mexico State ahead for good with 11 minutes left in the game.
Looking For The Game? Try Catching The Broncos On ...
Radio: KIDO (580 & 630 AM) in Boise will broadcast the game live with Bob Behler, providing the play-by-play, while former Boise State basketball great, Abe Jackson, provides commentary. The games can also be heard on the Boise State Broncos Radio Network in Twin Falls (KSNQ 98.3 FM), Pocatello (KWIK 1240AM), Idaho Falls (KID 590AM, 92.1 FM), and McCall (KDZY 98.3 FM). KIDO, which is in its second year as the home of the Broncos, will broadcast every Boise State game. In addition, for all fans attending home games at Taco Bell Arena, KIDO is rebroadcast on 93.7 FM inside the arena.
Television: The Broncos game on Thursday against the Aggies will be televised on ESPNU. This marks the third time this season Boise State will be on one of the ESPN networks.
Broncos on the Internet: Fans can log on to broncosports.com and watch all home games. By becoming a Bronco Vision premium subscription member, Boise State fans will receive access to live games, past games, seasonal highlights, special features and interviews that can only be seen by paying the membership price of $9.95 per month or $69.95 per year. Bronco Vision members will need a high speed internet connection. Live stats can be found at broncosports.com to follow the game on game tracker.