Handicapping Boise State basketball's odds of a postseason tournament bid

There are two weeks remaining in the Bronco basketball season, and you know what that means: Spring football is almost here! Oh, and we should probably start thinking about where the Bronco basketball team might end up for the postseason tournaments.

Find out the postseason possibilities for the Broncos after the jump, and weigh in on where you think they'll land. Plus, a look at this week's WAC games.

Games this week:

@ Fresno State, tonight, 9:05 MT

@ Nevada, Saturday, 8:30 MT, WAC Sports Network

There are four postseason NCAA basketball tournaments, featuring 132 schools. Is Boise State one of the top 132 teams in the country? Man, I would hope so.

The NCAA Tournament

The tournament field for this year's March Madness will be 68 teams large, which is good news for 8th-place Big East teams but pretty irrelevant for the WAC. The winner of the WAC tournament gets an automatic bid, and if that winner is Utah State, then the WAC will be a one-bid league. If that winner is anyone other than Utah State, then you'll have to ask Joe Lunardi because I don't know what that means.

Boise State's odds of making the NCAA Tournament: Long.

See the WAC standings section below, but know that the only way the Broncos are making the Big Dance is with a tournament run a la the 2008 team. Help us, Reggie Larry, you're our only hope.

NIT

After the NCAA picks 68 teams for March Madness, the NCAA then picks 32 teams to play in the NIT. These typically include bubble teams of which Boise State is not.

Boise State's odds of making the NIT: Super long.

If the Broncos don't win the WAC and make the Big Dance, then they likely won't have the resume to be chosen for an NIT berth, unless they capture America's attention with a run to the WAC championship featuring a spirited performance by new starting shooting guard Kellen Moore.

College Basketball Invitational

The CBI's claim to fame is that is championship game is a best-of-three series. Weird, right? The 16-team field is based (obviously) on performance against conference and non-conference competition but also (less obviously) on how well a team is playing at the end of the year. Boise State is on a three-game winning streak, so bully.

Boise State's odds of making the College Basketball Invitational: Decent.

Getting to 20 wins would be nice, and all it would take is winning five more, in a row (four regular season games and a tournament game). That would bode well for that "playing well" requirement of the CBI, and also, the Broncos have history with this tournament, losing to Stanford in the first round in 2008.

CollegeInsider.com  Postseason Tournament

Like the CBI, the CollegeInsider.com field is a 16-team group selected by committee. Teams must have a winning record against Division I teams to be eligible, and priority is given to teams in conferences with fewer than half its members in the NCAA or NIT brackets. The selection committee now includes NFL players Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, for some reason.

Boise State's odds of making the CollegeInsider.com Tournament: Okay.

The Broncos are 14-11 against D-I competition with at least five games remaining against D-I competition. Theoretically, BSU could tank and not even be eligible for consideration to the CollegeInsider tourney. That was not a prediction.

This week's WAC standings


Western Athletic Conference Standings

(updated 2.24.2011 at 12:57 AM MST)

Conf Overall
W L W L
Utah State Aggies 12 1 25 3
New Mexico St. Aggies 8 5 14 14
Nevada Wolf Pack 7 5 11 15
Boise St. Broncos 7 6 15 11
Idaho Vandals 7 6 15 11
Hawaii Warriors 5 7 15 10
Fresno St. Bulldogs 5 8 13 14
San Jose St. Spartans 4 9 14 12
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2 10 12 16


The Broncos enter the week tied with Idaho for the No. 4 spot and holding the tiebreaker edge having swept the season series with the Vandals. In your face, Jeff Ledbetter.

Two wins this week would put the Broncos within striking distance of the No. 2 seed, which New Mexico State currently holds, albeit with only a 1.5-game lead. The Aggies have games remaining against Utah State, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Were the WAC tournament to start today, Boise State would get a first round bye and play the winner of No. 5 Idaho and No. 8 San Jose State. The No. 2 seed would come with two byes and leave BSU only two games away from a WAC tourney championship and an NCAA berth.

This week's games

The Broncos beat Fresno State by 14 to start their current three-game winning streak, so you have to like their chances against the Bulldogs tonight. Except that Fresno is 10-4 at home this season. So I guess I have no idea how this one's going to turn out.

The bigger game of the two takes place on Saturday when BSU travels to Nevada. The Wolf Pack are a) right ahead of BSU in the standings and b) one of the Broncos' worst losses on the year. More importantly, a Bronco team playing in Reno - I cannot remember the last time that happened, so this should be fun.

The Bronco-Wolf Pack game will air on the WAC Sports Network, so make sure you have a backup way of getting the actual score. The WSN scorebox cannot be trusted. It has gone rogue.

Your turn

What postseason tournament do you think the Broncos will be in? Can BSU get to 20 wins? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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