On Tuesday, March 1, 2022, the men’s basketball team won the Mountain West Conference Championship. This is something that I never thought I would experience being a student at Boise State.
I haven’t been to too many basketball games this season, but I knew that going to the last home and witnessing a potential conference championship is something I couldn’t skip out on. I can say now that I am glad that I went to that game.
Walking to ExtraMile Arena and seeing the lines of Boise State fans alongside me, I knew it was going to be an electric environment.
Seeing a sea of students in the student section wearing blue, standing on their feet, clamoring amongst each other, you could feel the energy in the building. Everyone in attendance wanted that championship.
Fifth-year forward Abu Kigab, on his senior night, came out firing on all cylinders. He was hitting contested jump shots, playing great perimeter defense and getting to the basket with ease. But, the Wolf Pack were playing the role of spoiling this special night and they were not giving up.
It was a back and forth game that had everyone on the edge of their seats. Though Nevada had a 12-15 record coming into this game, their level of play exceeded their past performances. It was a one-point Boise State lead with 4:45 left in the game.
However, the Broncos stayed focused, and redshirt senior guard Emanuel Akot hit a crucial mid-range jumper, putting the team up 71-65 with 1:54 left. The game seemed to be all but sealed after that shot went in.
As the game was coming to an end, I looked over to see students filling the stairs leading down to the court. I knew what was coming when that buzzer sounded.
I looked down to see if there were any police or security trying to prevent the storming of the court. All I saw were one security guard, two cops and a small rope “blocking” the court’s entrance.
With the stakes of this game, I knew the students were going to do whatever it took to get on that basketball court and celebrate, and they did just that.
I had watched court storming on TV before, but I never got to experience or see it in person. It is such a cool feeling knowing that your school just won a conference championship and seeing it for yourself, in person. I’m sure other students felt the same way.
The buzzer finally sounded, and shortly after, I watched a sea of blue flood onto the court. The court would soon be filled with students celebrating with the men’s basketball team over their amazing feat.
The classic cutting of the net by Leon Rice and the trophy ceremony were so surreal and amazing to see. Personally, I did not know what to expect from this team coming into the year. But, their grit and determination were something that stood out to me immediately.
This team played hard every single game and exceeded anyone’s expectations and won a conference championship. I’ve seen students post on social media that we are a “basketball school” and that was funny to me.
Now, we are awaiting the Mountain West Tournament and a potential March Madness appearance, which hasn’t happened since 2015. Winning the tournament and making it into March Madness would be icing on the cake.