The Boise State men’s basketball team will put the longest homecourt winning streak in the nation on the line Tuesday night when it hosts No. 17 Colorado State at 7 p.m.
The Broncos have won 21 consecutive home games inside ExtraMile Arena, more than any team in the country.
“It’s amazing,” guard Chibuzo Agbo said. “It kind of feels like history and I really think we can keep this thing going.
“Just pride – and saying we don’t lose at home before every game and wanting to show up I front of our fans and protect the house and keep ‘The X’ protected.”
Extending the streak to 22 games would mean getting Boise State the marquee win its been searching for on its NCAA Tournament resume. The Broncos have nice wins over Saint Mary’s and San Francisco, but a win over the 17th ranked Rams – who at No. 19 quality as a Quad 1 win – would be a big boost.
Boise State (10-4, 1-0 MW) is also looking to stay atop the Mountain West standings ahead of a tough road trip to Nevada on Friday and home games against UNLV and San Diego State on the horizon next week.
“It feels like almost every (home) game is a must win,” Agbo said. “Those are very important games, especially when you have everything in your favor. You have the fans and the homecourt advantage and it’s definitely important to protect the ‘X’ and win every game at home.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a fun game. I think everybody is ready. I think it’s going to be packed, so it will be great.”
As of Monday afternoon Boise State reported only about 1,500 tickets still available. It’s the first of several marquee home games coming up in the near future with a nationally televised game against National runner-up San Diego State set for next Saturday at 11 a.m.
In a league as tough as the Mountain West it’s important to protect home court. Winning at Nevada, New Mexico, Utah State, Nevada and San Diego State will be tough tasks, making the chance to play those teams in Boise even more important to take advantage of.
And the Broncos get the first chance to ‘hold serve’ at home on Tuesday.
“You can’t look ahead because it’s daunting and it’s going to be like this every night,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “You’re going to feel like every game is ‘season on the brink.’ Everywhere is going to be like that in this league. That’s the reality. It’s always been the reality of league but now when there’s this many good teams, on any night anybody can beat anybody.”
Boise State has always been a tough place for visitors to leave victoriously but it’s been even harder for road teams to win since Rice took over in 2011. Boise State is 483-150 all-time at ExtraMile Arena (.763 winning percentage), but even better – 168-35 (82.7 percent) – under Rice.
Boise State is a perfect 7-0 at home this season and has home records of 14-1, 13-3, 11-1 and 13-2 in each of the previous four seasons.
The Broncos took over the top spot for consecutive home wins at 21 when Oral Roberts lost over the weekend to Weber State. Boise State hasn’t lost at home in 427 days entering Tuesday’s game.
Rice initially said the streak meant ‘nothing’ as far as the impact on Tuesday’s game before expanding on the record.
“It’s special to me because it means we’ve got people helping us and we’ve got a crowd and administrative support and on all those levels it’s important to me,” Rice said. “But it’s just find a way to get the next one. Every one is going to be a crusade and it’s not something where ‘gee I hope this streak goes to 50.’ Well yeah, of course I do because we want to win every single game. It’s one at a time and it’s not coach speak. It’s just how we approach it.”
Winning Tuesday will be no easy task. Colorado State has one of the best players in the country in point guard Isaiah Stevens, who is the Rams’ all-time leading scorer and assistant man and is averaging 17.6 points and 7.4 assists per game.
The Rams also have three other players averaging in double figures, contributing to their No. 17 ranking and 13-2 record.
“It’s really cool to see because this day and age you don’t see guys like that stick around at one program like he’s done and how much he means to that program,” Rice said. “He’s one of the best point guards in the country, no ifs, ands or buts about it.”
Boise State only has one home win better than what topping the 17th-ranked Rams would be. The Broncos beat No. 15 Washington back in 1998.
And the only better win they have anywhere is a win at No. 11 Creighton during the 2012-13 season, meaning a win Tuesday night would be the third-best in program history.
Boise State’s at home – so they’ve got a good shot.
“It’s obviously hard to win on the road,” Agbo said. “And we’re thinking the same thing when they come to our place. We know it’s going to be a dog fight but they better really be ready if they want to win this game coming to our place.”
Tip off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will stream on The Mountain West Network app and at TheMW.com. Tickets still remain at BroncoSports.com for as little as $20.