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Bronco Basketball Season Preview: The Schedule

The 2014-2015 Men's Basketball season starts Friday against San Diego! We better get you ready for it.

Jamie Squire

On any given day, the Boise State Men's Basketball team can beat any squad in the country. They have the coaching chops, talent, depth, and experience to go toe-to-toe with the very best of college basketball.

And that's exactly the problem.

Boise State is a dangerous opponent yet is still not a marquee match-up which makes scheduling a bit tricky. Brand name schools often see games against teams like the Broncos as lose-lose. They either lose or get an unimpressive win. Not a lot of incentive when they are also paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a team to come play a true road game. Games against high-major opponents IN Boise are still very much out of the question. That's a lose-lose-lose situation in their eyes.

From Boise State's perspective, scheduling uber-talented opponents needs to be balanced with some... um... cupcakes. At the end of the season, they will still judged by the number of wins, the quality of those wins, and the top-to-bottom strength of the Mountain West Conference. Two years ago, the MWC had the strongest conference RPI in the country and received five bids to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the MWC ranked 10th in Conference RPI and only received two bids. Boise State in particular did not have the non-conference resume to offset the relative suckiness of the entire conference.

This year, Boise State's premier non-conference games are against Wisconsin, a Final Four favorite, and North Carolina State, a perennial mid-tier ACC squad who has been to the NCAA Tournament the last three years. There are also a couple of interesting games at the Loyola Marymount Classic to begin the year, a return trip to Saint Mary's where they will hopefully avenge last year's loss, and games at the Las Vegas Classic against Houston and either Texas Tech or Loyola.

They also have two Non-D1 games on the schedule against Adams State and Northwest Nazarene. Why schedule those two games during the season rather than as exhibitions? Well, like two years ago, Boise State could either schedule low-level D1 teams like Savannah State with an RPI in the 300s or they can schedule non-D1 games that don't count against Strength of Schedule in RPI rankings, a main component of a teams NCAA Tournament resume. Plus, payouts to non D-1 teams are much lower.

Overall, this schedule isn't strong, but it's getting better. There are enough opportunities presented, however, that if the Broncos take care of business, they can begin to change the conversation about the Broncos (like 2013-2014 was just a fluke) and set a solid foundation heading into the conference slate.

Fri, Nov 14 vs San Diego 6:30 PM ET
Sat, Nov 15 @ Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM ET
Tue, Nov 18 vs Montana 10:00 PM ET
Sat, Nov 22 @ #3 Wisconsin 10:00 PM ET Big Ten Network
Tue, Nov 25 vs Idaho 9:00 PM ET
Fri, Nov 28 @ NC State 7:00 PM ET ESPN3
Sat, Dec 6 @ Saint Mary's 11:30 PM ET ESPNU
Tue, Dec 9 vs Adams State 9:00 PM ET
Thu, Dec 11 vs NW Nazarene 9:00 PM ET
Sun, Dec 14 vs Southern Utah 6:30 PM ET
Sat, Dec 20 vs Abilene Christian 1:00 PM ET
Mon, Dec 22 vs Houston 10:30 PM ET FOX Sports 1
Tue, Dec 23 Texas Tech/Loyola TBD FOX Sports 1
Wed, Dec 31 @ Colorado St 9:00 PM ET ROOT Sports
Sat, Jan 3 vs Utah State 2:00 PM ET ROOT Sports
Sat, Jan 10 @ Wyoming 6:00 PM ET CBS Sports Network
Tue, Jan 13 vs UNLV 11:00 PM ET ESPNU
Sun, Jan 18 @ New Mexico 6:00 PM ET CBS Sports Network
Wed, Jan 21 vs San Jose St 10:00 PM ET ROOT Sports
Sat, Jan 24 @ Air Force 2:00 PM ET ROOT Sports
Tue, Jan 27 vs Colorado St 11:00 PM ET ESPNU/ESPN3
Tue, Feb 3 @ Utah State 9:30 PM ET CBS Sports Network
Sun, Feb 8 vs #16 San Diego St 6:00 PM ET CBS Sports Network
Wed, Feb 11 vs Air Force 9:00 PM ET
Sat, Feb 14 @ Fresno St 10:00 PM ET ESPNU/ESPN3
Wed, Feb 18 @ UNLV 11:00 PM ET CBS Sports Network
Sat, Feb 21 vs Nevada 3:00 PM ET MWN
Tue, Feb 24 vs New Mexico 11:00 PM ET ESPNU
Sat, Feb 28 @ #16 San Diego St TBD ESPN2/ESPN3
Wed, Mar 4 @ San Jose St 10:30 PM ET ROOT Sports
Sat, Mar 7 vs Fresno St 8:00 PM ET ESPN3