2022 Mountain West Tournament Championship: Boise State vs. San Diego State Preview, How To Watch & More

2022 Mountain West Tournament Championship: Boise State vs. San Diego State Preview, How To Watch & More

Boise State

2022 Mountain West Tournament Championship: Boise State vs. San Diego State Preview, How To Watch & More

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Boise State vs. San Diego State: Championship Game Preview 


San Diego State hoping to foil the Broncos net cutting ambitions. 


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Boise State is in unfamiliar territory, San Diego State is not. Both are primed and focused to secure the cherry on top of a super competitive Mountain West season. 

WHO: Boise State (26-7, 17-3 in the MWC) vs. San Diego state (23-7, 13-4 in the MWC)

WHEN: Saturday 12th, 4:00 PM MT, 3:00 PM PT

WHERE: Thomas & Mack Center

TV:  CBS

STREAM: FuboTV – Get a free trial

SERIES RECORD: San Diego State leads all time series 9-17

The Mountain West Regular Season Champions Boise State are striving for a sweep of conference hardware. With last night’s 68-61 semifinal win over the Wyoming Cowboys, the Broncos set a program record of 26 wins and will be heading to their first ever Mountain West Championship game in school history.

In their way is Mountain West championship game juggernaut San Diego State. Who are playing in their fifth consecutive tournament championship game on Saturday, having won six all time. Both squads have been playing for three days straight and have been challenged along the way.

Most recently the Broncos downed Wyoming in a hard fought 7 point win, led by Abu Kigab’s 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals Friday night. Kigab came out red hot, scoring the team’s first 15 points along with Serbian big man Mladen Armus who had his a double double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 4 steals of his own.

San Diego State finds themselves in the championship game again after fending off the Fresno State Bulldogs in the quarterfinals behind 11 points from both Adam Seiko and Chad Baker-Mazara. And lastly last night in their 63-58 win over #2 seed Colorado State. In which Seiko chipped in 10 points and the Aztecs were led by Trey Pulliam, with a team high 11 points.

This Mountain West conference season has been rough for most teams and absolutely entertaining for fans and those covering it alike. Saturday’s championship matchup is the culmination to that great season, both teams would love to climb the ladder, but only one will.

Last Time Out

The Aztecs have dominated won 17 of the total 26 meetings between these two all time. With the majority of those meetings coming in after 2011 when the Broncos joined the Mountain West from the WAC. Boise State secured the sweep of the Aztecs this season.

Both games were displays of just how good each teach is defensively. As the Broncos secured a 42-37 win inside Viejas Arena on January 22nd. Then again a month later on February 22nd keeping the W at home in Boise with a 58-57 over the Aztecs inside ExtraMile Arena. Before this season though, coach Leon Rice and his program lost 6 straight to San Diego State.

Players to Watch:

F-Abu Kigab Boise State

After a shoulder injury that ended Kigab’s postseason early this time last year. The 6-7 Canadian forward decided to return for his extra season of eligibility. Since, he has helped lead this Boise State squad to their first outright conference championship and anchoring one of the toughest defenses in the country. The combo forward posted regular season averages of 14.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG 2.4 APG & 1.3 SPG. Earning Second-Team All-Mountain West honors along with a spot on the All-Defensive Team.

Kigab is all over the floor and makes his money taking tough defensive assignments, attacking the glass and getting to the free throw line while doing it. As the team’s leading scorer he doesn’t need to have the most points every game for Boise State to win, his contributions pile up elsewhere for his team to survive and advance.

G-Matt Bradley San Diego State

Upon transferring from Pac-12 member California last offseason. Opposing coaches in the conference knew the 6-4 220 guard from San Bernadino, California was going to be a problem, and he has lived up to the hype. As the offensive spearhead to this Aztec offense, Bradley posted averages of 17.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.7 APG & 1.1 SPG in 30 games (All Starts) this season. Earning the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year awards and a First Team All-Mountain West selection.

Bradley’s frame and strength and 6-4 allows him to take his game to multiple positions on the floor. A guard who can knock down the three pointer but also take the ball in and play with his back to the basket. And even though he is the lone double digit scorer for Brian Dutcher’s squad. San Diego State teams rely on top tier defense and high energy to get the job done.

Keys to the Game

For Boise State: Neutralize Matt Bradley, Secure the Basketball and knock down the three.

For San Diego State: Flash that Top-3 nationally ranked defense, Neutralize Abu Kigab, Crash the glass and avoid fouling

Prediction: Boise State 65, San Diego State 64

KenPom ($) has the Aztecs as 1 point favorites and given their recent run of form that makes total sense. In both Boise State wins this season, the Aztec’s biggest offensive weapon was also the kink in their armor. Bradley averaged just 9.5 PPG while shooting an abysmal 26.8% on 7-26 shots from the field. He also failed to get to the charity stripe and capitalize, going just 2-5 in their February loss and failing to shoot any free throws at all in January.

Now, Bradley did have a strong end to the season, averaging 23.8 PPG & 5.3 RPG. Shooting 50.8% from the field and 40.2% from deep. In tournament play he is struggling once again, averaging 6.0 PPG and shooting 28.6%. The Aztecs need him to score to be the difference maker and to find his rhythm for their March Madness run in the coming weeks.

Next Up

The winner of this one will cut down the nets inside The Thomas & Mack Center, receive the conference’s automatic bid and wait to hear their seed tomorrow on Selection Sunday.

Tomorrow’s NCAA Men’s basketball Championship selection show will have Mountain West fans around the country tuned in and eyes glued. As an four-bids are expected to be called. It won’t break the record of five, but it is a huge step in the right direction for the conference.

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.

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