The Boise State women’s basketball team knew it wouldn’t get a single-digit seed for the NCAA Tournament, but when its first-round draw appeared on the television Monday, there was noticeable surprise.
The Broncos were given a No. 16 seed and will play No. 1 Louisville at 10 a.m. MT Friday at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
“That’s a little bit disappointing,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “But we have to treat it as an opportunity and go back there and represent Boise State and our program and ourselves and do the very best we can and see where we end up.”
Louisville (32-2) beat Notre Dame 74-72 to claim the ACC Tournament championship March 4. The Cardinals were ranked No. 3 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and feature one of the top players in the country in junior guard Asia Durr.
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Durr was named the ACC Player of the Year and averages 18.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
“She’ll probably be the first pick in the (WNBA) draft and maybe the player of the year in the country. Who knows?” Presnell said. “She’s had just an incredible year, so we will do our very best to compete against her and let her know where Boise is from.”
The Broncos (23-9) swept the Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles to advance to the Big Dance for the third time in four years and fifth time in program history. Their previous appearances came in 1994, 2007, 2015 and 2017, but the Broncos are still looking for their first win in the tournament.
They had hopes of drawing a higher seed — possibly as high as No. 14 — but the selection committee instead paired them against a No. 1 seed.
“They probably don’t even know where Boise’s at. They’ve probably never been over here,” Boise State guard Riley Lupfer said. “I think just playing a new team, we can run all the plays that we ran in the beginning of the season plus now. I just think playing a new team is good for us.”
A’Shanti Coleman’s buzzer-beating putback against Nevada on Friday gave the Broncos a 62-60 victory in the Mountain West Tournament championship game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, pushing their win streak to 10 games.
They’ll hope to take some of that momentum into their first-round showdown against Louisville. Last season, UCLA defeated the Broncos 83-56 in their tournament opener.
“Everything’s against us, but we can play as tough as we can,” said Boise State senior Shalen Shaw, who will be making her third NCAA Tournament appearance. “My freshman year we played a really good game against Tennessee, so we can play with those big teams.”
Idaho women headed to WNIT
The Vandals return to the postseason for the third year in a row, earning the Big Sky Conference’s automatic bid to the WNIT on Monday.
Idaho (19-13) will play at UC Davis (25-6) on Thursday in the first round. The game time will be announced Tuesday.
The Vandals have a history of success in the WNIT, winning the tournament in 1986 with victories over Fresno State, Notre Dame and NW Louisiana.
“Losing in the Big Sky Championship game was tremendously disappointing,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. “That being said, being able to continue our season in the prestigious WNIT is fantastic for our program and our fans. We are all excited at the chance to play in the postseason for the fifth time in the last six years.
“What a great opportunity for our young players to gain even more postseason experience and for our seniors to continue their great season.”
C of I men fall in final four
Saint Francis (Ind.) beat College of Idaho 70-59 on Monday in Sioux Falls, S.D., in the semifinals of the NAIA Division II national tournament. The Coyotes led by five at halftime but couldn’t hang on in the second half. Talon Pinckney and Roosevelt Adams scored 13 points apiece.