The Broncos have rolled through the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament and are now ready to face off in the Championship Game.
“Coming into this tournament, we knew we just have to be ourselves. We don’t need to be anything other than what we’ve been. And I think we showed that,” said redshirt senior guard Emmanuel Akot said.
After finishing off the regular season 15-3 in their conference and 24-7 overall, Boise State was awarded the first seed in the Mountain West Tournament. This allowed the team to skip the first round of the tournament and play against the No. 8 seed Nevada in the Quarterfinals.
The Broncos came into the game with two previous wins against the Wolf Pack with their most recent game resulting in Boise State securing the Mountain West regular-season title.
Nevada started off hot and captured an eight-point lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Boise State responded to Nevada’s hot start with a 14-0 run late in the first half resulting in Boise State taking a 38-33 lead heading into halftime.
The game ended up coming down to the wire with Boise State leading 71-69 with 15 seconds left. Nevada had the final possession but failed to land the game-winning three-pointer giving Boise State the win.
“In the end, these guys find ways to win, no matter what happens, no matter what the circumstances were,” said head coach Leon Rice.
Boise State then moved onto the Semifinals to face off against the No. 4 Wyoming. Both teams split wins this season with Boise State winning the first matchup and Wyoming winning the second.
The Broncos took control of the game very early on and never let up. Boise State never once trailed in the game.
The Cowboys ended up getting within three points with 31 seconds left in the game, but the Broncos managed to seal the game 68-61.
This win over Wyoming gave Boise State the most wins in a season in program history with 26. The previous record was held by the 2014-15 season team which ended up losing to Wyoming in the Semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament.
“These guys, they don’t talk much about it, but they wanted to leave a legacy,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
The team will now move onto the Championship game against the No. 3 San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday, Mar. 12.