Boise State heads to Orange County for three games in four days, beginning on Thanksgiving, at the Wooden Legacy.
The Broncos' first two games will be played at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif., with Sunday's games played at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Thursday's matchup is perhaps the most evenly-matched, as the Broncos draw UC Irvine, a team that lost by just two points in the NCAA Tournament against Louisville. Fullerton is just 20 miles from Irvine.
“Unfortunately, we drew the home team,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
But it's nothing new for the Broncos, who had to play Dayton on its home floor in March in a First Four game of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re taking pride in doing tough things, it makes our guys grittier, tougher,” Rice said. “We’ll just take it on, give it our shot.”
Take a look at the full bracket here, and a look at the field:
UC IRVINE ANTEATERS
-Thursday, 2 p.m. MT, ESPNU
They've jumped out to a 4-0 start, holding teams to 61 or fewer points (including an overtime game) in their last three games. Three players have averaged double figures, led by junior guard Luke Nelson's 16.0 ppg. UC Irvine also presents one of the more unique challenges in the sport: 7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye (10.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 3.3 bpg). Rice said he sees the Anteaters not just an NCAA-caliber team, but one that can get an at-large bid out of the Big West, a rarity out of the conference.
-On Friday, the Broncos will play one of the two teams below, depending on the result of their Thursday game, win and face the winner, lose and face the loser.
If Boise State wins, it will play at 3:30 p.m. MT Friday on ESPN2. If Boise State loses, it will play at 1 p.m. MT Friday on ESPN3.
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
Ranked No. 3 in the AP poll and again full of talent, led by superb senior guard Denzel Valentine, nearly averaging a triple-double (15.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 9.8 apg). MSU is No. 1 in rebound margin (plus-23.8 per game). The Spartans and Broncos played once previously, a 74-70 Michigan State win in East Lansing on Nov. 20, 2012. Freshman guard Matt McQuaid played for Boise State assistant coach Danny Henderson at Duncanville (Texas) High.
BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
Under second-year coach Jim Christian, the Eagles are 3-0, allowing 54 ppg. Senior guard Eli Carter, who played at Florida and Rutgers, leads with 18.7 ppg. Boise State senior guard Lonnie Jackson is a BC transfer, where he started 55 games and made 175 3-pointers.
-Sunday's games are played at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The first is the fifth-place game, then the third-place game, the seventh-place game and then the championship game to end the night. The third-place and championship games will be televised on ESPN2, the other two on ESPNU.
Boise State will play either No. 11 Arizona (4-0), Providence (4-0), Evansville (3-0) or Santa Clara (0-5) on Sunday.
A few connections: the Broncos lost 88-76 at Arizona last Thursday. ... Had Boise State beat Dayton in Dayton in March at the NCAA Tournament, it would have faced Providence. ... The Broncos beat Evansville 75-69 in the CBI in Rice's first season. ... Santa Clara director of basketball operations Bryce Martin is a former Boise State student manager under Rice, while assistant Mike Peck is the former head coach of the Idaho Stampede.