Broncos Set for MW Quarterfinal
March 6, 2018
No. 2 Boise State (23-7, 13-5) vs No. 7 Utah State (15-16, 8-10) or No. 10 Colorado State (11-20, 4-14)
CBS SPORTS NETWORK: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Evan Washburn (reporter) will work the game for CBS Sports Network.
LISTEN: Bronco fans can listen to the game on 670 AM KBOI with Bob Behler (play-by-play) and Abe Jackson (analyst) on the call once again. The pregame show will begin at 5:30 p.m. PT.
BRONCOS AT MW CHAMPIONSHIP: Boise State is 3-6 all-time at the Mountain West Championship, advancing as far as the semifinals (2014 and 2015). The Broncos were the No. 3 seed last season, falling in the quarterfinals to San Diego State.
FAVORABLE SIDE OF THE BRACKET: The Broncos’ side of the bracket could shape out well for the Blue and Orange, as Boise State owns a 7-2 combined record against Utah State, Colorado State, Wyoming, San Jose State and New Mexico. Both of the losses came on the road, as well (at Wyoming and at Utah State).
The team is 6-3 against teams on the other side of the bracket: Nevada, UNLV, Air Force, Fresno State and San Diego State.
LUCKY No. 2: The No. 2 seed has won the MW Tournament eight times, the most of any seed since the tournament’s first season in 2000. The second seed has won the tournament three times since Boise State joined the league in the 2011-12 season: New Mexico twice in 2012 and 2014, and Fresno State most recently in 2016.
This also marks the first year that the Broncos have ever been a No. 2 seed in the MW Tournament.
The first-team nod was the second straight for Hutchison, making him the fifth Bronco in program history to earn consecutive first-team league nods, joining Chris Childs (1987-89), Tanoka Beard (1991-93), John Coker (1994-95) and Roberto Bergersen (1998-99). The selection to the all-defense team was the program’s second such accolade for a player since joining the Mountain West with James Webb III also earning the honor in 2015.
Hobbs is just the second player in program history to ever earn a sixth man or top reserve honor, joining Mike Sanor (1988), as he was named the Big Sky Conference Top Reserve.
ALL-DISTRICT: Hutchison was also named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VIII team for the second-straight season, as well. He stands alone as the only player in school history to earn USBWA All-District honors in back-to-back seasons.
TOP-THREE SEED: The Broncos’ second-place finish and subsequent No. 2 seed marks the fourth-straight season that the team has earned a top-three seed – the longest current streak for any conference team.
This is the 12th time in program history Boise State will enter a conference tournament as one of the top three seeds. It is the fifth time in Leon Rice’s eight seasons as head coach.
It is the fifth time in Mountain West history a program has earned a top-three seed in at least four-straight seasons. Boise State is the only school with an active such streak.
13 CONFERENCE WINS: With the 13-5 record in conference play, Boise State is the only Mountain West school to win at least 11 conference games in each of the last four seasons. It is just the second time in MW history a program has won at least 11 league games in four-consecutive years, joining BYU (2006-11).
23 OVERALL WINS: With a 23-7 overall record, the Broncos have already tied for the fourth-most victories in a season in school history, as the 2003-04 and 1988-89 teams also won 23 games. With a win in the semifinal, Boise State will have a chance to tie the 1987-88 team for third in single-season victories with 24.
The school record – 25 wins – was achieved by the 2014-15 and 2007-08 teams.
GOOD FORTUNE ON A NEUTRAL COURT: The team’s only games on a neutral court this season came at the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Myrtle Beach, when it picked up wins over UTEP (58-56) and Illinois State (82-64) before falling to Iowa State (75-64) in the championship game. The Broncos are 16-15 under Rice when playing on neutral courts.
MOMENTUM COMING IN: Boise State recently erupted for 95 points in a 95-87 win over Wyoming on senior night at Taco Bell Arena to close the regular season with a positive win. The 95 points was the most points in a conference game since the team scored 98 at Air Force last season on March 4, 2017. The Blue and Orange shot 50 percent from the field in going 30-of-60, putting their record to 10-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better.
The Broncos’ three seniors – Chandler Hutchison, Chris Sengfelder and Lexus Williams – scored 57 of the team’s 90 points (60 percent), with Sengfelder leading the way with 24 points. Williams tied his career high with 22.
RARE VERSATILITY: Currently averaging 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game, Hutchison is on track to become the first player to lead a Boise State team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
Furthermore, Hutchison is one of 10 players in NCAA Division I who is leading a team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. He is joined by Jahad Thomas (UMass Lowell), Bogdan Bliznyuk (Eastern Washington), Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Connor Cashaw (Rice), Tre’Shaun Fletcher (Toledo), Tyler Kohl (Central Connecticut), Travin Thibodeaux (New Orleans) and Joseph Kilgore (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).
In addition, Hutchison and Jahad Thomas (UMass Lowell) are currently the only two players in NCAA Division I to average at least 19.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game. If Hutchison were to complete the season with those same minimum averages, he would become just the fourth player in NCAA Division I since the 2009-10 season to accomplish the feat, joining the likes of Evan Turner (Ohio State; 2009-10), Ben Simmons (LSU; 2015-16) and Denzel Valentine (LSU; 2015-16).
Lastly, if he is to finish the season leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals, he would become just the fifth player in Mountain West history to accomplish the feat since the 2011-12 season – Boise State’s first season in the conference. He would join the likes of Jamaal Franklin (San Diego State; 2012-13), Marvelle Harris (Fresno State; 2014-15), Josh Adams (Wyoming; 2015-16) and Jaron Hopkins (Fresno State; 2016-17).
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