BOISE, Idaho — UPDATE:
Nevada defeated New Mexico 79-72, which means Boise State will play Nevada on Thursday.
The Boise State Broncos begin their quest for a Mountain West Championship as they play their first game at 1 p.m. Thursday.
The Broncos will either face Nevada, who they beat twice, or New Mexico, who BSU defeated at the Pit in Albuquerque in their only matchup.
Boise State earned the No. 1 seed by going 15-3 in conference play and now they look to ride that momentum into the tournament in Las Vegas.
"I'm really fired up, I’m really excited, it is going to be a really fun tournament," said Abu Kigab. "I'm looking forward to the first game, just going to take it one game at a time same mentality and the outcome will take care of itself."
Leon Rice was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year this season. He said this is his best defensive team he's ever had at Boise State, that is a good advantage in a single-elimination tournament because the Bronco's ability to defend might be able to make up for a poor shooting night if they have one.
"This is our best defensive team and that is what wins these games," said Rice. "Whether they make every shot or win every game from here on out who knows, it won’t be because of a lack of desire, it won’t be because they don’t want to play hard because that’s what they do."
The Boise State Broncos are the 2022 Mountain West regular-season champions earning the top seed in the conference tournament. The Broncos defeated Nevada behind 23 points from Abu Kigab in a 73-67 victory on senior night. pic.twitter.com/0DffHQixpH— Steve Dent (@idahodent) March 2, 2022
But it won't be easy the Mountain West is as deep as the conference has ever been — it's loaded with marquee players so much so Abu Kigab and Marcus Shaver Jr. both made second-team All-Conference.
If Boise State wins its first game they will likely draw Wyoming and their dynamic duo or UNLV and prolific score Bryce Hamilton.
The other side of the bracket features San Diego State, Fresno State and Colorado State, the Rams and conference player of the year David Roddy is the only team BSU hasn't beat this year as the Broncos lost two thrillers each by three points.
While you're watching the women's #MWMadness semifinals tonight, fill out your men's bracket!— Mountain West (@MountainWest) March 9, 2022
If you guess it right or are the closest, you'll be entered to win a pair of VIP tickets 🎟 to next year's tourney!
Reply back with your bracket to enter ⤵️@Join_AFReserve pic.twitter.com/bQpDesezD9
It should be an intense tournament with an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament on the line for every team, because of the Bronco's regular-season success they should receive an at-large bid no matter what happens in the tournament.
But that's the last thing on this team's mind as they look to make some noise in Las Vegas at the Mountain West tournament.
"These games are so precious and I don’t have many left," said Kigab.