San Diego State (21-8) at Boise State (20-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Taco Bell Arena (12,480) -- Boise, Idaho. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: San Diego State 14-1, Boise State 13-1. Away Record: San Diego State 4-5, Boise State 5-8. Neutral Record: San Diego State 3-2, Boise State 2-0. Conference Record: San Diego State 9-6, Boise State 8-7. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 5-0.
GAME NOTES: The Boise State Broncos look to build their NCAA Tournament resume as they host the San Diego State Aztecs at Taco Bell Arena for a Mountain West Conference duel.
The Broncos had their four-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday as they dropped a 68-64 decision at UNLV. Boise State is one of the teams currently thought to be on the fringe of earning an at-large bid should they not win the upcoming Mountain West Conference Tournament. In its own gymnasium, Boise State owns a very impressive 13-1 record.
San Diego State has most likely already punched its ticket to the Big Dance as it collected impressive wins over UCLA, Indiana State, Colorado State and Nevada on its way to a 21-8 overall standing. A win in this would mark the fifth consecutive season the Aztecs tallied double-digit conference victories. On the road, San Diego State is one game below .500. The Aztecs collected their third win in four games on Wednesday with a 58-51 triumph over Air Force.
Boise State will be looking to defeat San Diego State for the first time in history. The Aztecs edged the Broncos, 63-62, on Feb. 6 to improve to 5-0 against them. In the inaugural encounter of the season between these schools, SDSU hit on 46.2 percent of its field goal tries and limited Boise State to 40 percent efficiency from the floor.
Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks provide the Broncos with a very formidable one-two punch. Drmic, who led the team with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes before fouling out at UNLV, paces the squad with 17 ppg. Marks chimes in with 16 points and 3.9 assists per tilt, while Jeff Elorriaga contributes 10.7 ppg. Boise State is the top offensive unit in the Mountain West with an average of 73.7 ppg. It is not quite as astute defensively as it gives up 64.7 ppg, which is just seventh best in the league.
The Aztecs have a terrific tandem of their own in Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley. Franklin is near a double-double average with 17.0 points and 9.3 boards per tilt, while Tapley adds 13.3 ppg to the mix. In their win over the Falcons earlier this week, Franklin registered a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. SDSU held a sizeable, 45-32 edge in the rebounding battle to overcome a poor, 20-of-59 showing from the field. On the season, the Aztecs have the fifth-most potent offense in the conference at 69.9 ppg to go along with the second-best scoring defense (60.2 ppg).
Both these teams have plenty of motivation heading into the regular-season finale. The Broncos have been nearly perfect at home this season, and despite their historic failures against the Aztecs, will be able to continue their success at home if Drmic keeps thriving.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 72, San Diego State 66
03/09 10:38:42 ET