Wyoming’s NCAA Tournament Hopes Are On the Line Tonight
Regardless of what happens tonight when the Wyoming takes on Boise State in the Mountain West Conference Semifinals, it won't be the Cowboys last game this season. With a 23-9 mark, the Pokes are a lock to make the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) for the fourth consecutive year.
Even with a loss, Wyoming could be one of the 28 at-large teams selected to play in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). However, if they have any hope of advancing to the NCAA tournament, they will need to win the conference tournament.
Getting into the big dance will be a tall order, but there is reason for Cowboys fans to be optimistic heading into tonight's rematch with the top seeded and 25th ranked Broncos. In their first meeting of the season, the Pokes cruised to an easy 65-54 win at the Arena Auditorium in Laramie. However, that was in January and this isn't the same Boise State team. After losing their first three conference games, the Broncos have gone 15-1.
If Wyoming is to advance, they will need to stop the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Derrick Marks, who averages nearly 20 points per game for Boise State. They will also need a strong effort from star forward Larry Nance, Jr., who scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the teams' first meeting.
Tonight's game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network (DirectTV channel 221, Charter Cable channel 634). If Wyoming wins, they will advance to play either San Diego State or Colorado State in the MWC Tournament Final on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Cowboys swept the season season versus the Rams, but droped both prior meetings to San Diego State, including a 26 point blowout loss against the Aztects last month.
If Wyoming can pull off back to back upset wins, they would receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, which would mark the University's first March Madness appearance since 2002, when they advanced to the round of 32 under then coach Steve McClain.