Boise State Basketball

‘Son of a nutcracker that’s cold.’ Watch Leon Rice wade the river to celebrate sellout

Watch Boise State coach Leon Rice wade through the Boise River

Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice waded through the Boise River, true to his word, after fans sold out Taco Bell Arena for the Jan. 13, 2018, game against San Diego State. (Video courtesy of Boise State)
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Boise State men's basketball coach Leon Rice waded through the Boise River, true to his word, after fans sold out Taco Bell Arena for the Jan. 13, 2018, game against San Diego State. (Video courtesy of Boise State)

Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice waded across the Boise River on Saturday before his team played San Diego State in front of a sold-out crowd at Taco Bell Arena. The video was shown in the arena with about 8 minutes left in the 83-30 Boise State win.

Rice said last month that he would “wade across” the Boise River if the Broncos played in front of a packed house this season.

“We see what the meaning behind that is,” senior Chandler Hutchison said. “He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get us to experience a game like that.”

On Wednesday, the school posted a video to Twitter featuring Rice “training” for his chilly moment in the river in a cold tub.

[Related: Hutchison sets record in Broncos’ win]

The river has ranged from 37 degrees to 42 degrees this month.

“If you fill up Taco Bell Arena and sell it out ... I will walk across the Boise River,” Rice said in the midweek video.

Boise State’s school record for a home crowd is 12,649, which came in a 1993 game vs. Idaho. The largest crowd during Rice’s tenure has been 12,193, for a 2011 game vs. Idaho. The largest crowd for a Mountain West game is 11,308; that came in a 2015 game vs. Fresno State, which was the last official sellout before Saturday.

The listed capacity for the arena is 12,480. The Broncos drew 7,538 and 7,557 fans for their two home conference games this season.

This is the first time since 1987-88 that the Broncos have drawn more than 25,900 fans for the first three conference games of a season. They drew 29,747 that year. The three-game span this season attracted 25,969.

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