2023 Mountain West Tournament: #3 Utah State vs. #2 Boise State–Preview, Odds, Prediction

2023 Mountain West Tournament: #3 Utah State vs. #2 Boise State–Preview, Odds, Prediction

Aggies, Broncos meet in Mountain West Tournament Semifinal

https://twitter.com/coachmosser & @MWCwire

What: Mountain West Tournament Semifinal #2
Who: #3 Utah State Aggies vs. #2 Boise State Broncos
When: Friday, March 10th – 9:00 PT
Where: Thomas & Mack Center; Las Vegas, NV
How To Watch: CBS Sports Network

How to stream: FuboTV — Gt a free trial
Odds: Utah State -2 Over/Under 145

A thrilling two days of action in the Mountain West Conference Tournament has left us with a couple of compelling semifinal matchups. The second of those is an absolute doozy, as piping hot Utah State will take on rival Boise State. The two met a week ago in Logan, with the Aggies controlling it from start to finish, winning by double figures. The Broncos will feel as though they didn’t put their best foot forward in that one, as they were a few days removed from a massive home win over San Diego State, and may have been a bit off their best form.

Last night, Boise State needed to work overtime, literally, to knock off the host Runnin Rebels. They were on absolute fire early, hitting 9 of their first 12 three-point attempts, and scoring 50 in the first 20 minutes. They cooled off after the break and actually trailed with a few minutes left. Marcus Shaver and Naje Smith made some big shots to reclaim the lead, before UNLV fired in a prayer at the buzzer to force the extra period. The OT was all Boise State though, and they have put themselves in position to defend their tourney title.

That will take a tremendous effort, even to get to Saturday’s title bout, as their Friday opponent is firing on all cylinders right now. The Aggies played from the front all night against New Mexico, with Taylor Funk scoring his team’s first 16 points, knocking in shots from all over. When the Lobos made it more difficult on Funk, all-conference performer Steven Ashworth got going, to keep UNM at bay. That was the story of the 2nd half too, as the Lobos repeated attempts to close the gap were answered by Utah State. The Aggies have a lot of weapons, and their defense has improved throughout the season as well.

Both of these squads seem to like shooting inside the Thomas & Mack Center. Utah State has played there twice in the last 10 days, and scored 91 each time. The Broncos shot the ball really well in both of their road victories against UNLV. They have each traveled well to Vegas and the atmosphere should be tremendous. They should also both be in good position to hear their name called on Selection Sunday should they not earn the automatic bid here. That’s not the goal though, it’s to win two more games and cut the nets down Saturday night. This is as tough a call as we’ve had to make all season long, as the feeling here is that if they played 10 times it would be a 5-5 split. Since this is a one-and-done, let’s go with the slightly better defensive team in a tight one.

Prediction: Boise State 72 Utah State 69


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Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire