Rice sees ‘a lot of similarities’ with Broncos, Explorers; Buckner has two teeth pulled

The Boise State Broncos didn’t know much about the La Salle Explorers when they met with the media Sunday just minutes after finding out who they’d face in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday.

After getting a better look at the Explorers, Boise State coach Leon Rice said Monday it’s almost like looking in a mirror.

Boise State center Kenny Buckner slam dunks the basketball on Mountain West Conference foe Wyoming Saturday Feb. 9, 2013 at Taco Bell Arena in Boise.

Boise State center Kenny Buckner slam dunks the basketball on Mountain West Conference foe Wyoming Saturday Feb. 9, 2013 at Taco Bell Arena in Boise.

“A lot of similarities,” Rice said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who can score, some really good guards, they like to go fast and they can create a lot of offense from their defense.”
The Explorers have four scorers average double digits per game, and have forced 14.9 turnovers per game.

Brian Murphy wrote today with some thoughts from La Salle coach John Giannini, who called the teams “shockingly similar.”

Rice said that senior forward Kenny Buckner, who missed Sunday’s NCAA selection show with an infected wisdom tooth, had two teeth removed Sunday night and likely would not practice Monday, for fear of having his jaw hit. He is still expected to play Wednesday.

Gonzaga held onto the top spot again in the Associated Press poll, with Louisville stealing some of the Bulldogs’ first-place votes. GU had 45 first-place votes this week, down from 54 the prior week.

Here is this week’s poll, with mine below:

1. Gonzaga (45)
2. Louisville (20)
3. Kansas
4. Indiana
5. Miami (Fla.)
6. Duke
7. Ohio State
8. Georgetown
9. Michigan State
10. Michigan
11. New Mexico
12. Kansas State
13. Saint Louis
14. Florida
15. Marquette
16. Syracuse
17. Oklahoma State
18. Wisconsin
19. Memphis
20. Pittsburgh
21. Arizona
22. Creighton
23. Notre Dame
24. UCLA
25. Oregon
Receiving votes: VCU 163, North Carolina 51, UNLV 38, Butler 17, Florida State 14, Ole Miss 13, Belmont 11, Saint Mary’s 11, Colorado State 10, Wichita State 5, Montana 1.

My vote:
1. Gonzaga
2. Louisville
3. Kansas
4. Indiana
5. Miami (Fla.)
6. Duke
7. Georgetown
8. Ohio State
9. New Mexico
10. Michigan State
11. Michigan
12. Kansas State
13. Saint Louis
14. Syracuse
15. Florida
16. Marquette
17. Oklahoma State
18. Memphis
19. Wisconsin
20. Creighton
21. Notre Dame
22. Oregon
23. Arizona
24. Virginia Commonwealth
25. Belmont

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