The Boise State men’s basketball team (19-11) has been invited to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will play at Utah at 8 p.m. Tuesday (ESPNU).
The Broncos are the No. 6 seed in the Illinois State quadrant and will travel to Salt Lake City to play the No. 3-seeded Utes (20-11). It is the Broncos’ 14th postseason trip, and their fourth under head coach Leon Rice.
“We’re excited to play. The NIT is a hard thing to get in,” Rice said. “There’s 250 schools right now that wish they were us. So we feel pretty fortunate. To still be playing in March is a great thing.”
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Thirty-two teams were selected to play in the NIT, which has been held annually since 1938. Ten teams who won their conference’s regular-season title but did not make it to the NCAA Tournament automatically earned bids. Boise State finished third in the Mountain West and earned one of 22 at-large bids.
The Broncos lost in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals against San Diego State on Thursday 87-68. Boise State joins Colorado State (No. 4 seed) and Fresno State (No. 5 seed) as the NIT’s Mountain West representatives.
Boise State has played in the NIT four other times (1987, ’89, ’91, 2004) and is 3-4 in the tournament. The Broncos made the round of 16 in their last appearance, beating UNLV and Milwaukee at home before losing at Marquette. Their other victory was over Utah in their NIT debut in 1987.
The Utes, who finished fourth in the Pac-12 regular season, are led by head coach Larry Krystkowiak (former Idaho Stampede/D-League head coach) and associate head coach Tommy Connor (Borah High graduate).
VANDALS TAKE CIT BID; WILL HOST OPENER
Idaho accepted a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the fourth time and will face Stephen F. Austin at 9 p.m. MT Wednesday at Memorial Gym in Moscow.
The Vandals (18-13) won five straight games, including their Big Sky Tournament opener, before losing to eventual champion North Dakota in the semifinals. The Lumberjacks (18-14) played in the past three NCAA Tournaments and reached the second round last year by beating West Virginia.
Idaho last played in the 32-team, campus-site tournament in 2012. This is the Vandals’ second straight postseason appearance after playing in last year’s CBI.
Women’s tourney: BSU finds out itinerary today
The Boise State women’s basketball team, which won the Mountain West championship Saturday, will learn its opponent and destination for the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 5 p.m. Monday (ESPN).
The 64-team NCAA Tournament starts Friday and Saturday on the sites of the top 16 overall seeds. Follow IdahoStatesman.com for the breaking news.