After securing two of the last handful of at-large bids, Boise State will play La Salle in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Both teams were dropped in the quarterfinals of their conference tournaments, with Butler bouncing La Salle from the Atlantic 10 tourney and San Diego State doing the same to Boise in the Mountain West. Despite the early exits, the regular-season resumes were enough to push them off the bubble and into the tournament.
Boise State (21-10, 9-7 MWC) notched a big win over Creighton in November and a win over San Diego State to close out their regular season. They also gave Michigan State all they could handle in November, ultimately falling 74-70. The Broncos rely on strong guard play, with leading scorers Anthony Drmic (17.3 ppg) and Derrick Marks (16.3 ppg) carrying the load. Boise also scored more points than anyone else in the Mountain West and were 13th in the nation in 3-point percentage at 39.1 percent.
La Salle (21-9, 11-5 A10) has non-conference wins over Penn State, Nebraska and Villanova. They also knocked off VCU and Butler in regular season conference play- good enough to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers are led by their experienced backcourt, with 6-3 senior Ramon Galloway leading all scorers at 17 ppg with junior Tyreek Duren at 15 ppg. La Salle starts just one underclassmen, sophomore Jerrell Wright, who leads the team in rebounding.
The winner of this game enter the West region as the No. 13 seed and will face No. 4 seed Kansas State at 3:10 on Friday.
Game time, TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, tru TV
Location: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH