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Boise State prepares for an important homestand in the Mountain West

Posted at 11:35 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 13:35:03-05

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State Broncos host UNLV tonight at 9:00 p.m. and then they welcome third-place Colorado State on Super Bowl Sunday for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off.

Heading into this weekend Boise State and Wyoming have identical records atop the Mountain West Conference which is better than it has been in years.

"It’s the craziest year," said head coach Leon Rice. "It’s the best it has ever been from top to bottom I have to think."

Currently, the Mountain West is projected to have three teams in the NCAA tournament with San Diego State on the bubble at the moment, but there is still a long way to go and it starts with UNLV.

"We do pass the look test if you look at this team we are talking about now this kid is one of the best scorers in the country," said Rice. "You could put him up against anybody in the nation."

UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton is averaging 28 points in his last five games including a 45-point effort in a win against Colorado State, the third-place team in the league.

"They have great scorers, not just Bryce," said Rice. "Their guys can shoot and they are settling into their roles, and that’s the key to a team is guys knowing what their roles are."

That is certainly one of the reasons Boise State has had so much success this year, defined roles, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has both Boise State and Wyoming as eight seeds right now in his Bracketology, but Rice doesn't get caught up in that or the computer rankings because they don't help his team play defense, rebound or score the basketball.

"That’s what people are evaluated on this guy got hot that night and they kept the margin within eight that’s goofy," said Rice. "That’s not what competition is about."

And the competition is stiff in the Mountain West so the team hopes a strong home crowd can give them some energy against UNLV.

"It’s going to be two terrific teams late night at Extra Mile Arena," said Rice. "So hopefully we will have a great crowd because we need a good crowd to get us through it."