NIT? CBI? Anywhere? Boise State men's basketball finds out postseason fate Sunday night

Regular-season champions who lost conference tourneys take valuable NIT spots.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comMarch 16, 2014 

Boise State's Jeff Elorriaga gestures after sinking a 3-point shot during the first half of the Broncos' MW semifinal loss to New Mexico on Friday in Las Vegas.

ISAAC BREKKEN — The Associated Press

— The Boise State men's basketball team will find out whether its season will continue Sunday, but the tournament, location and opponent unknown.

Following Friday's 70-67 loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals, the Broncos weren't quite ready to think about their postseason destination.

"We came down here to win this thing," Boise State coach Leon Rice said. "We burned our boats. We didn't want to think about anything else or worry about anything else. We just wanted to win this tournament."

The Broncos (21-13) won't be in the NCAA Tournament, but could wind up in the NIT or College Basketball Invitational. The NIT selection show is at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU. The CBI field will also be announced Sunday night.

Boise State has played four times in the NIT, most recently in 2004, and in the CBI in 2009 and 2011.

With its games scheduled to air on the ESPN family of networks, the NIT is the more prestigious, but rules allow regular-season conference champions who don't win their postseason conference tournament to get automatic bids. That means teams such as the WAC's Utah Valley (27-11), the Big South's High Point (16-14) and the Northeast's Robert Morris (21-13) are in the field. About a dozen of those sorts of bids have been snatched up, leaving 20 at-large picks.

The NIT, which seeds teams similar to the NCAA Tournament differs from the 16-team CBI, which gives home games to teams willing to pay a reported $35,000 for the rights, though ticket sales can help recoup the cost. In 2009, Boise State played at Stanford to open the CBI, a game the Broncos lost. In 2011, it hosted two games, both wins, before losing at Oregon in the semifinals.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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