Men's Basketball

Broncos Take on Explorers in NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Tournament First Four
No. 13 Boise State
No. 13 La Salle

Wednesday, March 20 | 7:10 p.m. (MT)
Dayton, Ohio (University of Dayton Arena)

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The Boise State men's basketball team earned the first at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament in school history, and will play in the First Four, Wednesday (March 20). The Broncos, a No. 13 seed in the West Region, will face No. 13 seed La Salle in the tournament's opening round at 7:10 p.m. (MT) in Dayton, Ohio.

The Broncos (21-10, 9-7 MW) tied for fourth place in the Mountain West standings, while the Explorers (21-9, 11-5 A-10) finished tied for third in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The winner will move on to play No. 4 Kansas State in Kansas City, Mo., Friday (March 22).

Boise State will be appearing in its sixth NCAA Tournament. The Broncos advanced to the "Dance" four times as the Big Sky Tournament Champions (1976, 1988, 1993 and 1994) and once, in 2008, by winning the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. It is just the second appearance in 18 seasons for the school.

The Broncos will be led into the tournament by sophomore guards Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks. Drmic and Marks were both named to the 2012-13 All-Mountain West Second Team. The tandem combined to average 33.6 points per game this season, the best one-two scoring punch in the conference. During MW games, Drmic led the league in scoring at 18.8 points per game while Marks added 16.5 per contest to rank fourth. The combined 35.3 scoring average during conference play was also tops in the MW.

Marks has exploded for 30-plus points in three games this season, becoming just the fourth player in school history to top the 30-point plateau three times in a season. Those exploits include a 38-point game against Colorado State (March 2), in which Marks poured in 33 points in the second half alone. Only 18 times had a Bronco scored more in an entire game than the Chicago native scored in the final 20 minutes.

Drmic, with one 30-point game of his own (34 against LSU, Dec. 14), has been Boise State's most consistent threat. He has 15 games with at least 20 points this season and has scored in double figures in 26 of Boise State's 31 games. The Broncos are 20-6 in those games.

The Broncos played 11 games against NCAA Tournament teams, going 4-7 in those contests. Four of the six tournament-qualifying opponents were conference foes as the Mountain West sent a conference-record five teams to the 2013 tournament.

The Atlantic 10 also qualified five teams, tying the league's best showing. La Salle lost in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed after finishing tied for third in the A-10 regular-season standings.

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