No. 4 Broncos to Face No. 5 Huskies
March 12, 2018
THE GAME: Boise State (23-8) will travel to Seattle and take on Washington (20-12) in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) this Wednesday, March 14. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT and will broadcast on ESPN3.
Boise State (23-8) is a No. 4 seed while the Huskies are a No. 5 seed. The Broncos are unable to host as the higher seed because of the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament being at Taco Bell Arena this week.
WATCH: The game will stream on ESPN3. Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jason Capel (analyst) will be on the call. Fans can stream the game on the WatchESPN app.
LISTEN: Radio coverage of Wedensday's game will broadcast on the Bronco Radio Network, with 670 AM KBOI serving as the flagship station. Bob Behler (play-by-play) and Abe Jackson (analyst) will be on the call. The pregame show will begin at 7:30 p.m. MT.
ABOUT WASHINGTON: The Huskies are 20-12 this season with a 10-8 mark in Pac-12 play (seventh place). The Huskies are led by Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson, who average 15.8 and 15.4 points per game, respectively.
First-year head coach Mike Hopkins was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading UW to its first 20-win season since 2011-12.
The Huskies are one of the best teams in the NCAA at turning teams over, forcing opponents into an average of 15.1 turnovers per game (No. 33 in NCAA). Their 8.0 steals and 5.1 blocks per game both rank in the top 25 of the NCAA, as well.
HISTORY WITH THE HUSKIES: The Broncos are 1-8 all-time against the Huskies with the last meeting coming on Dec. 23, 1999 in what was a 72-57 loss in Seattle. The lone victory came at home the year before on Dec. 4, 1998 with a 69-61 Bronco win at Taco Bell Arena.
The two teams have also previously faced each other in the NIT. The meeting came on March 16, 1987 in Seattle with UW winning the game, 73-78.
BRONCOS IN THE NIT: This is Boise State’s sixth trip to the NIT, previously earning berths in 1987, 1989, 1991, 2004 and 2017. The Broncos are 4-5 all-time in the tournament.
The Blue and Orange were a No. 6 seed last season, defeating No. 3 seed Utah on the road in the first round, 73-68. Chandler Hutchison went for a season-high 34 points. Marcus Dickinson also tallied a season-high point total, going for 12 points in just 15 minutes of play. The team fell on the road to Illinois in the second round, 71-56.
The Broncos’ best performance in the NIT came in 2004 when they won two games in what was a 40-team field. The team’s other NIT win came in 1987 with victory over Utah.
POSTSEASON APPEARANCES: Boise State is making its 15th postseason appearance in program history and fourth in Leon Rice’s seven years as head coach (two NCAA Tournaments, one NIT and one CBI).
A WIN WOULD…: Get the Broncos to 24 wins, which would tie for the third most in program history. It would also give the team its fifth NIT victory and seventh postseason win in program history.
RECORD SEASON FROM DISTANCE: With having made 299 3-pointers in 2017-18, Boise State set a new single-season school record for made 3-pointers, surpassing the 297 from the 2014-15 season. Three of the top five single-season marks have been recorded under head coach Leon Rice (also includes 264 from 2013-14).
Sophomore guard Justinian Jessup also continues to close in on the individual single-season school record, as his 87 threes puts him just five behind Abe Jackson’s 92 from the 2001-02 season. Jessup’s 87 threes puts him in sole possession of second place in the school record book.
GOOD FORTUNE ON THE ROAD AGAINST THE PAC-12: Boise State has four all-time road wins against opponents from a “power five” conference. All four of those victories have comes against Pac-12 teams: Washington State (1973), Oregon State (2003), Utah (2017) and Oregon (2017).
The victory in Eugene earlier this year was especially memorable, as it broke up a 46-game home winning streak for the Ducks and marked the Broncos; first victory over an opponent who had reached the Final Four the previous season.
The win itself came in heroic fashion as Lexus Williams’ buzzer-beating half-court shot was the difference maker in the 83-80 result for the Broncos.
20 WINS FOR SIX-STRAIGHT SEASONS: The Broncos solidly secured its sixth-straight 20-win season earlier this year, making them one of 21 teams in the country to have a six-season 20-win streak. Boise State is joined by the likes of Arizona, Belmont, BYU, Cincinatti, Duke, Florida Gulf Coast, Gonzaga, Iona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, New Mexico State, North Carolina, Oregon, Saint Mary’s, Vermont, Villanova, Virginia and Wichita State.
WILLIAMS ON A TEAR: The senior point guard has been absolutely sensational for the Broncos in his last two games, tallying 22 points on senior night against Wyoming (March 3) and a career-high 24 points in the MW Championship quarterfinal against Utah State. The senior’s success has stemmed from his aggressive play, as he has made 18 trips to the charity stripe in the two games where he has gone 17-of-18 (94.4%).
His 31 starts and 302 points in 2017-18 has highlighted a career season for the graduate transfer from Valparaiso.
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