Boise State comes out of their first trip to the championship victorious. It was everything fans expected. The game was close the whole way through. Neither San Diego State of the Broncos ever had a lead larger than five points. The lead swapped back and forth between the teams all game until Boise State ultimately won, 53-52.
Neither team played their best. They’d shot a combined 56% from the free throw line. Boise shot 28% from behind the arc. It was a defensive struggle through and through.
The Aztecs didn’t do themselves any favors during the game. They committed a number of fouls that they normally wouldn’t commit. Reaching for the ball off of rebounds. On one play Trey Pulliam walked down the court and pushed Shavers to the floor.
That’s not to take away from the Broncos excellent defense though. The Aztecs struggled to finish at the rim all game. Degenhart drew multiple charges. Kigab didn’t fall for any of Matt Bradley’s shot fakes all game. Overall they seemed the more composed team despite it being their first time in the championship.
Lamont Butler was the best player for the Aztecs. He struggled the second half of the season, but if Aztec fans want some optimism, Butler seems to be coming back into early season form.
Abu Kigab won MW tournament MVP. He had 11 points and 3 rebounds in the game, but his defense was spectacular.
Both teams will play next week in the big dance. Defense travels, so both teams will have a chance to win a game or two as well.