MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – It may not be the NCAA Tournament bracket – the ultimate goal come the end of the season – but the Boise State men’s basketball team finds itself in an 8-team bracket at the Myrtle Beach Invitational starting Thursday at HTC Center.
And the goal is the same anytime you find yourselves in a bracketed tournament – to win.
Boise State plays Charlotte at 5 p.m. MT on ESPNEWS Thursday in the opening round with goals of winning three games and capturing the tournament title.
“That’s why you play in these and that’s why they are fun,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told Bronco Nation News on Wednesday. “And we’ve been in the championship game but haven’t won one yet so we’re looking to accomplish a milestone we haven’t done here.
“But they are hard to win. You get in these tournaments because you have a good program so all the other seven teams here have a good program too.”
Indeed Boise State has participated in nine early season, multi-team events in the past 10 years under coach Leon Rice. They’ve made the championship game twice under Rice – at the Diamond Head Classic in 2013 and the Puerto Rico Tip-off (played at Myrtle Beach) in 2017 – but have yet to bring home a championship.
“You look at the teams that win preseason tournaments and they end up having great years, a lot of them,” Rice said. “(But) you can’t win the tournament if you can’t go 1-0.”
According to research done by Boise State, the Broncos are one of just nine schools in the country to play a game in all four time zones this season. The Broncos traveled nearly 2,500 miles from Boise to the East coast for the tournament – their longest road trip by far this season.
Boise State (1-1) is coming off an impressive win over Washington State last Saturday. The Broncos had five players in double figures.
If the Broncos beat Charlotte they would play either Loyola Chicago (No. 70 KenPom) or Tulsa (No. 161) in the semifinals on Friday night, and potentially Colorado (No. 59) or Texas A&M (No. 31) in Sunday’s title game.
Bronco Nation News will have live pregame and postgame shows from the court HTC Center, so make sure to follow BNN on YouTube and Facebook to watch.