Looking at Boise State men’s basketball’s NCAA hopes; one Mountain West team in AP top 25

The Boise State men’s basketball team has positioned itself for a good shot at the school’s first-ever at-large NCAA tournament bid if it can finish the regular season strong the next two weeks.

The Broncos are 18-8 overall and 6-6 in the Mountain West, a league ranked No. 2 in RPI by RealTimeRPI.com.

Three of Boise State’s remaining four games are at home. First is Nevada on Wednesday, followed by Colorado State on Saturday. Next Tuesday the Broncos are at UNLV, then close the regular season at home against San Diego State.

If the Broncos can win two of their final four games, they may need a win or two in the Mountain West tournament to solidify an at-large bid, but winning three, especially since at least two would be against teams that have appeared in the top 25 this season, could lock it up.

“If you want to be in the conversation in March, you have to take care of business in February,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said Saturday after defeating Fresno State 72-63.

The NCAA’s latest RPI rankings have the Broncos at No. 47, a drop of five spots from last week. Boise State went 2-0 last week, but against teams ranked 75th and 157th in the RPI this week. Creighton’s recent losing skid hasn’t helped either, though the Broncos’ RPI will be soon bolstered with the tough matchups ahead.

A few national bracketologists have updated their projections, and still have the Broncos firmly on the bubble. CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm has Boise State as a 12-seed in a play-in game against Charlotte. ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi doesn’t even have the Broncos as one of his last eight out in his latest bracket. USA Today’s Patrick Stevens has the Broncos as one of his first four out. The Bracket Project, which combines the average seeding for 50 mock brackets, has the Broncos as the second team out.

Only one Mountain West team is ranked in the latest Associated Press top 25 men’s basketball poll, New Mexico, at No. 14. Gonzaga, Rice’s former employer, is No. 2, while the WAC’s Louisiana Tech makes its debut at No. 25. Here is the rest of the top 25, with my vote below.

1. Indiana (64)

2. Gonzaga (1)

3. Duke

4. Michigan

5. Miami (Fla.)

6. Kansas

7. Georgetown

8. Florida

9. Michigan State

10. Louisville

11. Arizona

12. Syracuse

13. Kansas State

14. New Mexico

15. Oklahoma State

16. Ohio State

17. Wisconsin

18. Saint Louis

19. Memphis

20. Butler

21. Notre Dame

22. Marquette

23. Pittsburgh

24. Oregon

25. Louisiana Tech

Others receiving votes: Colorado State 49, Virginia Commonwealth 45, Akron 43, Wichita State 35, Saint Mary’s 24, Illinois 19, Connecticut 18, UNLV 13, North Carolina 8, California 5, Middle Tennessee 2, Belmont 1, Missouri 1, Stephen F. Austin 1

Here is my top 25 for the week:

1. Indiana

2. Duke

3. Gonzaga

4. Michigan

5. Kansas

6. Miami (Fla.)

7. Florida

8. Michigan State

9. Georgetown

10. Louisville

11. New Mexico

12. Kansas State

13. Arizona

14. Ohio State

15. Syracuse

16. Saint Louis

17. Memphis

18. Wisconsin

19. Oklahoma State

20. Butler

21. Notre Dame

22. Louisiana Tech

23. Colorado State

24. Marquette

25. Akron

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Extra Points