Mar 19, 2024; Dayton, OH, USA; General view of the stadium before the game between Howard Bison and Wagner Seahawks at UD Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado, Boise State Square Off in First Four

The Colorado Buffaloes (24-10) will face the Boise State Broncos (22-10) tonight as part of the First Four. The winner of this game will claim the No. 10 seed in the South Region and face the No. 7-seeded Florida Gators on Friday in the round of 64.

Boise State

The Broncos are looking for their first NCAA tournament win on Wednesday, in what is their 10th appearance. This is the third consecutive tournament appearance for Boise State.

Boise State was not expected to be in a play-in situation, however. The Broncos finished 26th in the NET rankings, which typically would have qualified as a No. 7 seed. The team finished third in the Mountain West conference with a 13-5 record. The conference includes six teams in the field of 68.

The Broncos are a well-rounded bunch, with four players averaging double-digit scoring, led by junior forward Tyson Degenhart with 17 points per game. In totality, they averaged 75.8 points per game, shooting 45.2% from the field and 34.5% from three.

However, Boise State’s bread and butter is its defense. The Broncos’ defense held opponents to just 67.5 points per game, while shooting 43.8% from the field and 31.1% from behind the arc. Additionally, they are 13-0 this season when holding opponents to less than 65 points.


The Buffaloes finished the regular season on a hot streak. They won eight of their last nine games, with their one loss coming in the Pac-12 Championship against Oregon. Colorado punched in its seventh tournament appearance since 1975, despite falling short in the conference tournament.

Offensively, the Buffaloes averaged 79.3 points per game on 49.3% shooting from the field this season. Their biggest strength offensively is their three-point shooting. Colorado led the Pac-12 in three-point efficiency, shooting at a 39.4% clip.

Defensively, Colorado allowed 71.2 points per game. The Pac-12 runner ups held their opponents to 43.6% from the field and 31.8% from three.

The Buffaloes are led by junior guard KJ Simpson, who leads the team in points (19.6), assists (4.9) and steals (1.6).

Wednesday’s Matchup

Wednesday’s matchup will feature two strong defensive teams. However, Boise State will be facing a tall task in slowing down Colorado’s elite three-point shooting. Both teams are effective at rebounding, with both boasting a +7.4 rebounding margin.

Look out for the matchup between Simpson and Degenhart. Simpson shoots 45% from three this season, and Degenhart is on a hot streak right now, averaging 19.9 points in his last 10 games.

Colorado and Boise State tip off Wednesday night at 9:10 p.m. ET to wrap up the First Four.

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