Sports Out West

Selection Sunday 2013: Mountain West strength gives Boise State shot to get in

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

The Boise State Broncos made a strong case for themselves as one of the top-68 teams in college hoops this season, and now they have to sit amongst bubble teams from other power conferences such as the SEC and see if their numbers are good enough to catch the committee’s attention. 

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The strength of the up-and-coming Mountain West Conference that according to ESPN.com has four teams as virtual locks to get into the NCAA Tournament may be Boise State’s biggest asset. They were 9-7 in conference play in 2012-13, and that included key wins over UNLV, Colorado State and San Diego State. Unfortunately, those were all at home, and they didn’t fare as well on the road in MWC play. 

But a big early win vs. then-No. 11 Creighton is going to weigh heavily in the decision as to whether or not they end up making it through. If that’s the case, then they have shown they can compete with anyone and could be a team for an early upset watch. Still, they have to sit amongst teams from high-powered conferences like Ole Miss, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee and play the agonizing waiting game. 

Derrick Marks, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Chicago, Illi.and the Broncos’ best player out of the backcourt, couldn’t find the form that helped him lead the team to a 21-10 overall record in the conference tournament, but if they get in, they could shake things up early on. They showed they can go into a hostile environment and compete by playing San Diego State tough in their building and losing narrowly, 63-62 during the regular season. 

The Broncos are a team that West Coast basketball fans should keep an eye on should they make it through. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.