Idaho Basketball Preview


Broncos Ready for New Years Eve Rivalry Game

DATE: Saturday; Dec. 31, 2011

TIME: Noon (MT)
LOCATION: Nampa, Idaho / Idaho Center (11,000)
TV: None
RADIO: Bronco Sports Network /

THE GAME: The Boise State men’s basketball team will square off against in-state rival Idaho Saturday (Dec. 31), at the Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho. Tip-off between the Broncos (9-4) and Vandals (7-6) is scheduled for noon.

RADIO INFORMATION: Boise State’s game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Sports Network. The broadcast will also be streamed live at

Play-by-Play: Bob Behler
Analyst: Abe Jackson

Boise State went 81-87 in league games in its 10 seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (2001-11), including a mark of 9-3 against Idaho.

THE SERIES: Saturday’s game marks the 86th meeting between the two schools since Boise State became a four-year institution prior to the 1968-69 season. Dating back to Jan. 9, 1971, the Broncos hold a 50-35 advantage in the series.

The Broncos swept last year’s series, winning 70-67 at Idaho (Jan. 22) and 69-63 at Taco Bell Arena (Feb. 12). It marked the fourth sweep of Idaho in six seasons as conference opponents in the WAC.

The Broncos and Vandals have played all but eight of the games in the series as members of the same conference. From 2001-04, Boise State and Idaho squared off eight times, each of which resulted in a Bronco victory.

Only once in the all-time series have the teams played at a neutral site – during the 1992 Big Sky Conference Tournament in Missoula, Mont.

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This is a game I've had circled on my calendar for a while and wasn't going to miss. Boise State and the University of Idaho are like water and oil, the reasons BSU fans/alumni hate the University of Idaho for many reasons but most reasons stem from an age long disrespect from the University up North. We've all enjoyed the football series as things have finally ebbed but things are still pretty competitive on the hardwood. Boise owns the all time record (50-35) and won 14 straight from 2011-08 however since 2009 Boise and Idaho have each won three. Boise swept the series last year.

Idaho, picked to finish fifth in the WAC and returning one starter from last year (Deremy Geiger), looks to end a two game skid that started against 6-8 Wright State. While Idaho has dropped 6 games most weren't to slouches and Idaho comes into this match with a chance of victory. Here are a few facts and details accompanied by my thoughts for Saturdays game:

Idaho Head Coach - Don Verlin

Don, a Californian native, is in his 4th season at Idaho and owns a 57-52 record. This is Don's first stint as head coach after serving as an assistant at Utah State and Colorado State (his alma mater). At both schools he served under coaching genius and Bronco antagonizer, Stew Morril.

Don was a great hire for Idaho basketball, snapping BSU's 14 game winning streak and going 3-1 against Boise. Don's third win against the Broncos (79-55 in The Bell) was perhaps the most embarrassing loss in Boise State's history of playing the vandals. That season Don's hire proved to be a great hire for Boise State basketball as well, adding insult to the losing season injury that finally got former Boise coach Greg Graham fired and Leon's new energy hired. Leon righted the ship as mentioned previously, turning the tables on Don and sweeping the series last year.

Common Opponents

Long Beach State - Advantage Idaho

BSU 72 - LBSU 62
IDAHO 69 - LBSU 61

In direct common opponent comparison it's a two point difference. Idaho matches up equally to Boise in common opponent comparison.

Fan Support/Tickets

I talked with a gal at the Idaho Center this morning and was told that at first, University of Idaho was purchasing more tickets than Boise State but at this point it's pretty equal however, Idaho seems to be much more excited and organized about this matchup than BSU. They plan on "blacking out" their side of the arena and Idaho students have grouped together to purchase tickets and create student sections. The environment in that arena is going to play a big part of this game and I can't wait to see Bronco Nation trump the V Throwing.

Here's the seating map, $12 seats are pretty wide open while the $14 seats along the court as well as directly behind the hoop seem to be pretty sold out.

Your thoughts?

Sorry this isn't as in depth as previous previews but writing about Idaho gets me frustrated and it's been a busy week. Here's hoping Leon can extend his career against Idaho to 3-0!

This content was not created by OBNUG and therefore may not meet our standards. On the contrary, it probably exceeds them.

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