BOISE, Idaho — It's not often the Boise State men's basketball team gets blown out, and it’s become a complete rarity for it to happen against a Mountain West team.
Honestly, the Broncos do have several reasonable excuses for what happened on Friday night – injuries, foul trouble, and facing an extremely good opponent all top the list.
But there’s an easy way to sum it all up: The Broncos finally had a bad night.
Most 10-Point Loss by MW Teams – Last Two Seasons Combined:
- 3 – San Diego State
- 4 – Boise State
- 8 – Wyoming
- 9 – Fresno State
- 9 – UNLV
- 10 – New Mexico
- 10 – Utah State
- 12 – Colorado State
- 14 – Nevada
- 17 – Air Force
- 23 – San Jose State
Most 10-Point Loss by MW Teams to MW Teams – Last Two Seasons Combined:
- 1 – San Diego State
- 1 – Boise State
- 4 – Wyoming*
- 5 – UNLV**
- 6 – New Mexico
- 6 – Utah State**
- 8 – Colorado State*
- 9 – Fresno State**
- 9 – Nevada**
- 13 – Air Force*
- 17 – San Jose State*
*Represents a double-digit loss to Boise State
When you add it all up, Boise State managed to go 726 straight days without losing to a fellow Mountain West school by 10 points or more in regulation.
If you haven’t notice from the numbers above, every single other Mountain West school lost at least one game by double-digits to a conference opponent in between the times the Broncos did. Heck, almost everyone else lost at least four such games.
70 IS THE TIPPING POINT
There is a common denominator in Boise State’s last four losses: Opponents have scored over 70 points in each of them.
The Broncos are just 1-4 when opponents hit 70 on the scoreboard, and an impressive 17-2 when they limit teams to anything less.
- Boise State has held opponents under 70 points 19 times this season, tied for 12th most in the NCAA.
- The Broncos have held opponents under 70 points 48 times in the last two seasons combined, tied for fifth most in the NCAA.
Furthermore, Boise State has 42 combined wins over the last two seasons when they hold opponents under 70, which is tied for fourth most in the country.
But does defense really win championships, or at the very least, help one make the NCAA Tournament?
I’ll let you be the judge.
Most Wins When Limiting Opponents to 70 Points or Less – Last Two Seasons Combined:
1. Houston: 50*^
2. North Texas: 44*
3. Saint Mary’s: 43*^
T4. Boise State: 42*^
T4. UCLA: 42*^
6. Tennessee: 40*^
7. Kansas: 39*^
8. Vermont: 38*^
*Made NCAA Tournament last season
^Currently projected by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi to make NCAA Tournament this season
RICE IS NICE
Senior guard Max Rice continues to prove he's one of the more efficient scorers in the country. Rice is shooting 41.3% from three, 50.4% from two, and 91.1% from the free-throw line.
He is one of just eight players in the NCAA shooting at least 40% from three, 50% from two and 90% from the free-throw line with 10 or more starts this season:
- Greg Elliott, Pittsburgh (40.8/54.9/90.2)
- Taylor Funk, Utah State (40.9/51.9/90.6)
- Maleeck Harden-Hayes, UNC-Wilmington (44.4/57.6/91.1)
- August Mahoney, Yale (47.7/54.5/95.2)
- Riley Miller, St. Thomas (41.0/51.5/90.1)
- Max Rice, Boise State (41.3/50.4/91.1)
- JT Shumate, Toledo (41.5/64.5/90.2)
- Grant Singleton, Fairleigh Dickinson (40.6/54.2/93.8)
Amongst that group, Rice ranks second in minutes played (804) and steals (24), and third in total rebounds (114) and assists (37).
NO REASON TO BRING UP THE PAST
Remember that seven-turnover performance that Rice had against Fresno State? Right after it happened, I mentioned how unique that was for him.
Well, in the three games since, Rice has had just two total turnovers in 107 minutes of action.
THEY NEED RICE TO MAKE THREES
How much have Rice's shooting efforts contributed to Boise State's success?
The Broncos are 14-1 when Rice makes multiple threes in a game this season, leaving them just 4-5 when he doesn't.
Last Friday, in a game that you could chalk up as the worst the Broncos have played in years, Rice went 0-for-5 from three. Boise State only has six losses on the season, and when Rice doesn't sink at least one three, the Broncos are 0-4. That means their an impressive 18-2 when he even knocks down a single three.
Rice’s value to this team is tremendous. And you question it at all, just re-read the last few sentences.
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