2018 NIT: Boise State vs. Washington Game Preview, Score Prediction
Boise State opens up on the road for the NIT.
Boise State takes on a Pac-12 foe.
Boise State has to go on the road in the NIT despite them being a four seed and their opponent, Washington is a five seed. The reason this game is in Seattle is because Boise’s home arena is being used for the NCAA Tournament.
Washington finished the year 20-12 and seventh in Pac-12 play with a 10-8 league record during Mike Hopkins first season as the head coach for the Huskies. That record earned Hopkins Pac-12 coach of the year.
Boise State will need to protect the ball because Washington is really good and forcing turnovers and are 33 in the country which equates to 15 turnovers per game. Those turnovers led to a lot of second-chance points. Overall, its defense is elite as they are in the top 25 in both blocks and steals per game.
Boise State has just one win in nine tries against its Pacific Northwest foe, but these two teams have not played since Dec. 23, 1999, which was a Washington victory. The one Broncos win came in 1998 at Taco Bell Arena.
Date: Wednesday, March 14th
Tip-off: 10 p.m. ET
Venue: Alaska Airlines Arena; Seattle, Washington
PROJECTED Boise State LINEUP
G Lexus Williams
G Chandler Hutchison
F Christian Sengfelder
G Justinian Jessup
F Zach Haney
PROJECTED washington LINEUP
G Matisse Thybulle
F Noah Dickerson
G David Crisp
F Sam Timmins
F Jaylen Nowell
WHY boise state WILL WIN
Chandler Hutchison is the main reason the Broncos can move on in the NIT, but a better example is the new experimental rules which are being used for the tournament.
That includes an extended three-point line which head coach Leon Rice likes.
“All of a sudden the 3-point line’s farther back against a team that zones,” Rice said via the Idaho Statesman. “Rats.
“You don’t want to be making a bunch of 19-footers,” Rice said. “The worst shot in basketball now became farther back, so we have to adjust to that, and we will.”
The Broncos are a great three-point shooting team and have made 299 which is a school record and look for Justinian Jessup to get the green light from downtown. He has made 87 triples this year.
WHY Washington WILL WIN
Their defense is really, really good. The Huskies average eight blocks per game and are a top 35 team in turnovers forced. Boise State will need to protect the ball and not allow the Huskies to get easy buckets.
Washington has a good corp of offensive scorers with four averaging in double figures and led by Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson who each put up just over 15 points per game.
While coach Rice loves the extended three-point line against this Huskies team which will play zone, Washington has improved its defensive efforts from beyond the arc.
Washington is 6-2 against teams shooting at least 37.6% from deep and 7-4 against teams that take at least 41% of their shots from beyond the arc. Boise State fits into both categories as they shoot 37.9% from 3-point range and those shots make up 41.9% of their total.
The Huskies will need to break through against the Broncos defense which will be one of the toughest they have faced all year. Washington has struggled when it has played teams which are better rated than them on defense and are just 8-12 in those games.
Boise State -1
Boise State 77, Washington 68