Broncos Travel to Las Vegas for MW Tournament
DATE: Wednesday; March 13, 2013
TIME: 10 p.m. (MT)
LOCATION: Las Vegas (Thomas & Mack Center; 18,500)
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: Bronco Radio Network / BroncoSports.com
THE GAME: After winning five of its final six regular-season games, the Boise State men’s basketball team heads to Las Vegas for the 2013 Reese’s Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship.
The Broncos (21-9, 9-7) tied for fourth place in the league standings with San Diego State (21-9, 9-7), and will face the Aztecs in the quarterfinals Wednesday (March 13) at 10 p.m. MT at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
San Diego State won the tiebreaker and will be the No. 4 seed, and the Broncos will be the No. 5 seed.
TV INFORMATION: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network, available on DIRECTV channel 613, DISH Network channel 152 and Cable One channel 332.
Play-by-Play: Andrew Catalon
Analysts: Steve Lappas and Doug Gottlieb
Sideline: Lauren Gardner
RADIO INFORMATION: Boise State’s game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network, with KBOI (670 AM) serving as the flagship station. The broadcast will also be streamed live at BroncoSports.com.
Play-by-Play: Bob Behler
Analyst: Abe Jackson
PEAKING: Boise State won five of its final six games of the regular season, the only loss coming at UNLV, March 5. Prior to the loss to the Runnin’ Rebels, Boise State had won four-consecutive conference games for the first time since joining the MW, and for the first time since winning five straight in the Western Athletic Conference in 2010-11 (Feb. 10 through March 5).
Included were back-to-back double-figure wins: 26 (Nevada; 73-47) and 13 (78-65; Colorado State) - the first such wins against conference foes since winning three-straight by double figures in 2010-11. The margin of victory over the Wolf Pack (26) was the largest in a league game since defeating San Jose State by 29, March 6, 2010 (85-56).
Boise State closed its regular season with a 69-65 victory over San Diego State (March 9), the Broncos’ first victory over the Aztecs all-time.
DANGEROUS WHEN HEALTHY: Dan Hanner of RealGM Basketball broke down Kenpom ratings of teams that missed players for several games this season. Ultimately, when healthy, the ratings suggest Boise State is the 33rd-best team in the nation (as of March 5).
Of the Broncos’ nine losses, only four have come with a full roster: a four-point loss at Michigan State (74-70), at Utah (76-55), at New Mexico (60-50) and a four-point loss at UNLV (68-64).
SERIES HISTORY: Boise State is 1-5 all-time against San Diego State, including a victory over the Aztecs in the last meeting - the regular-season finale for both teams, March 9 (69-65). In this season’s first meeting, Chase Tapley hit a 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining, sending the Aztecs to a 63-62 victory in San Diego. In the second meeting in Boise, the Broncos led wire-to-wire, and Derrick Marks (27) and Anthony Drmic (23) combined for 50 points in the win.
The Broncos lost all three games against the Aztecs in their debut season in the league, two of which were by three-or-fewer points.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Boise State dropped its only previous game in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, falling to 18th-ranked San Diego State in the quarterfinals last season (65-62). Jamaal Franklin drained a 3-pointer as time expired, the second time in three games last year that the match-up between the Broncos and Aztecs came down to the final shot.
In Leon Rice’s debut season, Boise State fell one game short of the NCAA Tournament, defeating New Mexico State in the semifinals of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament (81-63) before falling to Utah State (77-69) in the championship game.
The Broncos are 25-24 all-time in conference tournament games.
BACK-TO-BACK GAMES: Boise State has not played back-to-back games against the same opponent in more than 12 years, when it squared off against Cal State Fullerton for two-straight in 2000-01. The Broncos won both games, knocking the Titans off on the road (84-76; Jan. 31), and then at home (75-55; Feb. 8).
Since joining Division I in 1970-71, the Broncos have played back-to-back games against the same opponent just seven times prior to this season. The four days between games against San Diego State are the fewest when playing an opponent in consecutive games during that time.
THEY DID IT AGAIN: The Broncos were picked to finish eighth in the Mountain West in 2012-13 in a preseason poll of media members that cover the league. Boise State finished tied for fourth place with San Diego State, outperforming its predicted finish for the third time in as many seasons under head coach Leon Rice. The Broncos finished second in the WAC in 2010-11 after being picked to finish sixth, and the team finished tied for seventh last season after being picked to finish eighth.
SINGLE-SEASON SCORING LIST: With at least one game left this season, Anthony Drmic has already scored 517 points - just the 15th time in school history a player has eclipsed 500 points scored in a season, and tied for the 13th-most in Boise State single-season history (Matt Nelson; 2007-08).
Derrick Marks currently ranks 21st with 476 points.
ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON: At 21-9, Boise State has notched the 10th 20-win season in school history – and just the ninth since joining Division I in 1970-71. Two of the seasons have come under head coach Leon Rice, who is the first head coach in school history to win 20 games in two of his first three seasons.
The Broncos’ 21 regular-season victories are tied for fourth-most in school history, and the most since 2007-08 (22). Boise State also won 22 games during the regular season in 1987-88 and 1988-89, and won 21 in 1986-87.
IMPROVED DEFENSE: Although the Broncos rank sixth in defensive field goal percentage (.441) and seventh in defensive scoring average (67.4) in conference play, the Broncos have been markedly improved the last seven games. During the stretch, Bronco opponents are shooting just 39.5 percent from the field (134-of-339) and scoring 61.9 points per game.
For the sake of comparison, New Mexico led the league in defensive field goal percentage (.390), and Wyoming led the league in scoring defense (60.4) during conference play.
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