An NCAA Tournament berth is the goal every season, and Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice assembled the Broncos’ 2019-20 nonconference schedule with that in mind.
In addition to their invitation to the 2019 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, the Broncos have matchups against Oregon (Nov. 9), UC Irvine (Nov. 15), BYU (Nov. 20), Pacific (Nov. 23), UNC Wilmington (Nov. 29), Tulsa (Dec. 11), Alabama State (Dec. 14) and Cal State Northridge (Dec. 28).
“Game in and game out on every single night it’s going to be a tough opponent and tough travel,” Rice told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday. “You put all those together, it’s a great schedule for the fans and a great schedule for the opportunities to build a resume. But it’s going to be easier said than done. When you look at it on paper and then when you have to go live it, it’s two different things. It’s very, very challenging.”
Boise State tips off the season Oct. 31 at ExtraMile Arena with an exhibition game against West Coast Baptist College followed by its regular-season opener against Life Pacific (Nov. 5).
At the prestigious Diamond Head Classic, the Broncos face Georgia Tech of the ACC at 3 p.m. (MT) Dec. 22 at the Stan Sheriff Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU, and the winner draws Houston or Portland at 5 p.m. (MT) on Dec. 23 (ESPN2). The championship game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (MT) Christmas Day and will air on ESPN2. Ball State, Hawaii, UTEP and Washington round out the eight-team field.
“I think there are certain programs and teams that have figured out ways to trick the numbers a little bit in the old RPI,” Rice said. “Now it’s become a little more difficult to do that and you get rewarded for road wins, you get rewarded for playing good teams. I think that’s certainly what we set out to do.”
Game times and TV information will be announced at a later date.
2019-20 Boise State men’s basketball schedule
Oct. 31: WEST COAST BAPTIST COLLEGE (exhibition)
Nov. 5: LIFE PACIFIC
Nov. 9: at Oregon
Nov. 15: UC IRVINE
Nov. 20: BYU
Nov. 23: at Pacific
Nov. 29: UNC WILMINGTON
Dec. 4: at New Mexico*
Dec. 7: COLORADO STATE*
Dec. 11: at Tulsa
Dec. 14: ALABAMA STATE
Dec. 22: vs. Georgia Tech (Diamond Head Classic)
Dec. 23: vs. Houston or Portland (Diamond Head Classic)
Dec. 25: vs. TBD (Diamond Head Classic)
Dec. 28: CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Jan. 1: WYOMING*
Jan. 4: at Nevada*
Jan. 8: UNLV*
Jan. 11: at San Diego State*
Jan. 15: at Air Force*
Jan. 18: UTAH STATE*
Jan. 25: at Fresno State*
Jan. 29: SAN JOSE STATE*
Feb. 1: NEVADA*
Feb. 5: at Wyoming*
Feb. 8: at Utah State*
Feb. 12: AIR FORCE*
Feb. 15: SAN DIEGO STATE*
Feb. 19: at San Jose State*
Feb. 22: NEW MEXICO*
Feb. 26: at UNLV*
March 4-7: Mountain West Tournament (Las Vegas)
*denotes Mountain West Conference game