Broncos Set to Face Utah State in WAC Tournament Championship
The Boise State men’s basketball team (20-11) will square off against Utah State (29-3) in the championship game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday, at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (MT), and the game will be televised by ESPN2.
The Broncos are making their third appearance in the conference title game since joining the league prior to the 2001-02 season. Only Utah State (five) and Nevada (four) have more appearances in the championship game since the Broncos joined the league.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Broncos’ No. 2 seed is the highest since joining the WAC prior to the 2001-02 season. The Broncos also made the WAC Championship game in 2005, falling to UTEP (91-78), and in 2008, defeating New Mexico State (107-102, 3 OT).
The Broncos are 8-27 all-time against Utah State, and have lost five-straight to the Aggies. The teams are 1-1 when meeting in the WAC Tournament, with the Aggies winning 84-60 in last year’s opening round, and the Broncos winning 88-78 in the 2008 semifinals.
RICE DEBUT RANKS AMONGST WAC’S FINEST
First-year Boise State Head Coach Leon Rice currently owns the best winning percentage for a first-year head coach in school history. Rice is 20-11 (.645), and Bobby Dye and Rod Jensen were each 15-13 (.536).
Since Boise State joined the WAC prior to the 2001-02 season, the league has seen 19 first-year head coaches, and only four have posted a higher winning percentage than Rice. Of the top five winningest first-year head coaches, only Rice inherited a team that posted a losing record the previous season.
STREAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME
The Broncos were victorious in each of their final seven regular-season games. Throughout the country, only eight teams completed their regular season with a longer winning streak.
The Broncos’ current eight-game winning streak is the longest since the 1991-92 season, when the team won nine-straight.
ANDERSON SINGLE-SEASON MARKS
La’Shard Anderson has 478 points in 2010-11 - the 50th 400-point season in school history and the 20th-most by a Bronco in a single season. Anderson’s 149 assists are the second-most in school single-season history, trailing Anthony Thomas (151; 2008-09) by two. His 75 steals are also the fourth-most in a single season at Boise State.
Senior guard La’Shard Anderson entered this week ranked 13th in the country in steals, averaging 2.5 per game.
BRONCOS AMONGST NATION’S BEST
Boise State entered this week ranked second in the nation in turnover margin, forcing 5.4 more turnovers per game than committing. The Broncos also ranked 13th in steals, averaging 8.8 per game.
Bob Behler is in his third season as the “Voice of the Broncos,” and his 25th calling college basketball games. Joining Behler, and also in his third season, is former Bronco Abe Jackson, who played for Boise State from 1998-2002.
All Bronco games will be broadcast on the Bronco Radio Network, with KBOI 670 AM serving as the flagship station. Games can also be heard live at broncosports.com.
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