Broncos Head to Illinois for Marquee Match Up

After returning home for its first home game of the season, the Boise State men’s basketball team takes off for a cross-country trip to Illinois for its third road trip of the year as the Broncos prepare to take on the Fighting Illini’, Sat., Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

Since Boise State joined the Division I ranks during the 1968-69 season, the Broncos have only faced off against a Big Ten opponent on three occasions, owning an all-time record of 0-3 against the conference. However, of those three opponents, not once has Boise State faced Illinois.

Despite Boise State’s winless record against the league, in two of the three years the Broncos have faced a Big Ten opponent, they have gone on to claim the conference championship (1988 -Big Sky Tournament and Regular Season Champions; 1999 - Big West Conference East Division Champions). The only other year the Broncos played a team from the Big Ten and did not earn a conference championship was during the 1982-83 season when they faced Michigan State and Boise State went 10-17 overall, 5-9 Big Sky.

About  Illinois…

  • Illinois concluded a stretch of three straight games away from the Assembly Hall Wednesday at Clemson. The Illini now return home for three consecutive games at The Hall.
  • Illinois won in dramatic fashion as Mike Tisdale hit the go-ahead jumper with 41 seconds left, then blocked David Potter’s driving shot on No. 18 Clemson’s next possession as Illinois rallied from 23 points down for a 76-74 victory Wednesday night ... The Illini (5-2) looked finished, down 51-28 early in the second half and with leading scorer Demetri McCamey saddled with three fouls and two points ... But Illinois finally got going with a 35-10 run to move in front in the school’s biggest comeback ever ... Illinois broke a three-game losing streak in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge ... Mike Davis led the Illini with 22 points. He set a career high with 28 a year ago when Clemson defeated Illinois in a challenge game by the same score, 76-74 ... Brandon Paul had 20 points for Illinois, whose biggest previous rally came in 2000 when it came from 21 points down to defeat Seton Hall, 87-79.

All-Time Series Notes Against the Big Ten Conference...

The All-Time Series:
  For the first time in school history, the Broncos will take on the Fighting Illini as Boise State has never faced Illinois ... All-time, Boise State has only faced off against a Big Ten opponent three times, owing a record of 0-3 against the conference ... The first Big Ten opponent the Broncos faced was Michigan State during the 1982-83 when Boise State fell to the Spartans 59-71 ... During the 1987-88 season, Boise State faced Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to the Wolverines 58-63 ... The last time the Broncos faced a Big Ten opponent was during the 1998-99 season when Boise State fell to Indiana, 66-90 ... On average, the Broncos have scored 61.0 points per game against the Big Ten, compared to the 74.6 points scored by their opponents.

Coach Graham vs. Big Ten Conference:  During Coach Graham’s tenure as a collegiate head coach, he has yet to face a Big Ten opponent ... Even as a four-year letterwinner at Oregon, he  did not play against a single member of the Big Ten Conference (1774-77) ... However, Graham went up against the Big Ten’s Minnesota during his stint at Oregon as an assistant coach, the Ducks went 1-2 against the Golden Gophers.

Boise State vs. Big Ten in Regular Season: The last time the Broncos faced a Big Ten opponent during the regular season was during the 1998-99 season when Boise State fell to Indiana 66-90, at the Indiana Classic ... Boise State also matched up against Michigan State during the 1982-83 regular season, falling 59-71 to the Spartans.

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