Broncos Travel to Face Ducks in CBI Semifinal
The Boise State men’s basketball team will continue its postseason ride, traveling to face Oregon in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen, Wednesday (March 23).
Tip-off between the Broncos (22-12) and Ducks (18-17) is scheduled for 8 p.m. (MT) at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., and the game will be televised by HDNet.
The winner will face either Central Florida (21-11) or Creighton (21-14) in a best-of-three championship series.
The Broncos were one of the nation’s final 20 undefeated teams, and through Tuesday’s slate of games the team will be one of the final 31 playing postseason basketball.
The CBI is a 16-team, single-elimination tournament, up until the championship series, with all games being played at campus sites of the higher seed. The championship will be decided by a best of three series. Boise State also played in the CBI in 2009, falling to Stanford (96-76) in the first round.
OREGON AND THE PAC-10
Wednesday’s meeting will be the fifth all-time between the Ducks and Broncos, with Oregon winning each of the previous four. The teams have not faced on the hardwood since the 1996-97 season, a 61-58 Oregon victory in Eugene. Boise State is just 6-27 against teams from the Pacific-10 Conference.
The game against the Ducks will be Boise State’s 35th of 2010-11, a school record. For redshirt senior Paul Noonan, the game will be the 130th of his career, more than any Bronco in school history.
TURNING IT AROUND
With 22 wins - tied for fifth-most in school history - the Broncos now have seven more than in 2009-10, the fifth-largest turnaround in school history. Boise State improved by 10 wins in 1986-87 and 2003-04, and by eight in 1990-91 and 2007-08.
GOING FOR THREE
The Broncos have already won two postseason games for just the second time in school history. Boise State defeated UNLV (84-69) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (73-70) in the 2004 NIT, the team’s last postseason victories prior to the 2011 CBI. The Broncos are now 5-10 in postseason tournaments.
BOISE STATE IN 2010-11
Boise State has already reached 20 wins for just the ninth time since becoming a four-year institution prior to the 1968-69 season. The Broncos earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament - the highest in Boise State’s 10 years in the league - and made the championship game of the conference tournament for the third time.
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 22-12 (.647), 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.
FIRST-YEAR HCs NATIONALLY
Of the 54 first-year head coaches throughout the country this season, only 13 have reached 20 wins or more. Of the 13 who have reached 20 wins, only five are in their first season as a Division I head coach. Of the five in their first year as a Division I head coach, only Boise State’s Leon Rice inherited a team with a losing record in 2009-10.
TWO BRONCOS JOIN 1,000-POINT CLUB
La’Shard Anderson’s lay-up against Austin Peay with 0.1 seconds on the clock not only gave the Broncos the lead, it gave him 1,001 career points. Anderson is the second Bronco this season to reach the milestone, as Paul Noonan accomplished the feat against UC Santa Barbara, Feb. 19. Noonan currently ranks 15th with 1,085 career points, while Anderson currently ranks 19th with 1,012.
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