One year after giving a scare to the Memphis Tigers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Boise State Broncos (15-4) have continued the strong play and have a share of the lead in the Mountain West standings entering Friday’s road tilt against the New Mexico Lobos (17-2).
Boise State Broncos vs. New Mexico Lobos (-2, 145)
Both teams enter Friday with clear strengths, as New Mexico ranks 32nd in the nation in points scored on a per-possession basis while Boise State ranks 19th in points allowed on a per-possession basis. Although these teams excel in different areas, each squad has strong guard talent.
Though New Mexico’s defense isn’t quite as stifling as Boise State’s, guard Jaelen House has improved the team significantly with his 2.9 steals per game, good for the second-most by any player in the nation. He is also chipping in 17.4 points and 4.6 assists per game on 41.5% shooting from the beyond the arc.
Overall, New Mexico ranks 55th nationally in points allowed per possession and has an advantage on the boards in this game, ranking 31st in rebound rate while Boise State ranks 37th.
The consistency at which the Lobos get to the free-throw line will be difficult for the Broncos to overcome, as they rank eighth in the nation in free throws attempted per offensive play, attempting at least 18 free throws in 11 of their last 12 games.
With Boise State ranking 210th in the nation in fouls committed per defensive play, New Mexico will grind out the home win Friday night to move into second place in the conference standings.
The Play: New Mexico -2
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