The Boise State men's basketball team (7-4) is back on the road this week, traveling to Portland, Ore., to square off against the Portland Pilots (9-3). The game, slated to tip-off at 8:05 p.m. (MT), will be the Broncos' final tune-up prior to beginning Western Athletic Conference play next week.
Boise State opens the WAC portion of its schedule at home against Louisiana Tech (Dec. 29) and New Mexico State (Dec. 31).
FOUR-STRAIGHT CLOSE CALLS
The Broncos defeated Texas-Pan American Dec. 19, ending a four-game slide by a combined 11 points. After three-straight three-point losses to Long Beach State, No. 19/20 UNLV and Drake, Boise State dropped its contest at Utah by just two points. The Broncos had five losses of three-or-fewer points in all of 2009-10.
A GOOD START
The Broncos won each of their first six contests, matching the best start in school history. Boise State was one of the nation's final 20 undefeated teams.
The only other time a Bronco team began the season 6-0 was in 1987-88, when the team finished 24-6, won the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles and made the NCAA Tournament.
The Broncos and Pilots are an even 6-6 in the 12 previous meetings, and Boise State holds a 3-2 advantage when playing in Portland. The Broncos have won each of the last three road games, with the last loss coming during the 1985-86 season (64-62).
RECORD AGAINST CONFERENCE
The Broncos boast a record of 48-43 against teams currently in the West Coast Conference, league home of the Pilots.
DEBUT FOR RICE
Leon Rice, in his debut season after being named the seventh head coach in school history, is the only coach to begin his career with six-consecutive wins.
Since Boise State became a four-year institution prior to the 1968-69 season, no other coach won more than his first two games to begin his career.
Rice joins the Broncos after spending the last 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Gonzaga. He had served as the associate head coach with the Bulldogs since 2007.
The game will be broadcast live on KTIK 1350 AM, with Jack Smith calling play-by-play and Abe Jackson providing color commentary. The radio feed will also be streamed at www.ktik.com.