Broncos cost SDSU their revenge game against UNLV
On Friday at 6 p.m. Pacific Time the San Diego State Aztecs will face off against Boise State in the Semi-Finals of the Mountain West tournament on CBS Sports Network.
San Diego State got here by beating Air Force in the quarterfinals by a score of 73-60. Boise State arrives at the Semi-finals fresh off of a win against host UNLV. Boise State was able to avenge their loss on the same floor from a mere eight days earlier and came out victorious by a score of 67-61.
The Aztecs won both of the regular season meetings between these teams, by an average margin of 17.5 points. After avenging its loss to UNLV, Boise State hopes to continue its revenge tour and defeat SDSU.
A Boise State victory may require another slow start by San Diego St. The Aztecs have allowed their last 4 opponents to shoot better than 50% from the floor in the first half. However, the last team they defended well for a full 40 minutes was Boise State. So he question is which trend will hold up? Do the Aztecs break their first half slump, or does Boise get to ride the wave of poor first half defense, possibly to a victory.
On the line for Boise State is a chance to play for an automatic birth into the NCAA tournament, as well as vengeance for the previous losses. San Diego State is already guaranteed an at large birth in the tournament, but they are playing for a potential 1 seed, the easier path to the Final Four that comes with it.
Key to a Boise State win: Come out hot early, and build a big enough lead in the first half that SDSU can’t overcome it. That is what happened in the only game SDSU lost all season. Keep the pressure on and the Aztec players will all want to make the play, and the foundation of team basketball starts to crumble.
Key to a San Diego State win: Defend well for the entire game. The trend of falling behind in the first half can not be sustained against better competition, and Boise State is playing at a high level right now. This team needs to return to the defensive mindset that the program was built on. We know they’re capable of it, since they’ve done it all year and in the second half of the last 4 games, but they need to sustain it for a full 40 minutes.