Tip-off: 9pm (MT)
Radio: 670 KBOI
Vegas line: Boise State by 3
Tiny little basketball game happening at Taco Bell Arena tonight. The first place and 24th ranked Nevada Wolfpack (21-5) visit tonight to battle against the formerly first-place Boise State (20-5). Of course, the winner of tonight's game can either retake the conference lead or extend theirs, so a lot is on the line. The last time these teams played it was a see-saw battle that ultimately saw the home team emerge victorious. Tonight, a different team is the home team and will need every bit of home court advantage to get over the proverbial hump.
No two ways about it...Nevada is the more talented team top to bottom, but BSU might be the more cohesive team and if they can get some bench scoring and not go cold from behind the arc, this is a winnable game—and a vital one if the Broncos want to pad their tournament resumé. The Broncos will once again need Chandler Hutchison to carry a lot of the weight, but get more help from youngsters like Justinian Jessup and Alex Hobbs than they've got of late (Jessup has just one point in the last two Bronco outings—a win and a loss—but only attempted 5 shots). Defensively, the Broncos need to shut down the Martin brothers (Caleb and Cody). Caleb is more prolific scorer but he's also been a bit banged up (less than they've let on...but still). Jordan Caroline and Kendall Stephens are also very capable of making things difficult for the Broncos, so the D needs to be on point (get loud, TBA crowd).
First place on the line, tournament resumé-building on the line, longest home win-streak in the conference on the line...maybe it's not as tiny of a game as I initially let on.