The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 7 seed Northwestern Wildcats will face the No. 10 seed Boise State Broncos.
Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.
Game date: Thursday, March 16
Game time: 7:25 p.m. ET
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Sacramento, CA
Odds: Boise State -2
No. 7 Northwestern
This is easily Northwestern’s best season ever. The Wildcats finished second in the Big Ten and will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. Boo Buie’s emergence as a star has helped power Northwestern to relevance, and may propel them even further in the coming weeks.
Buie, a senior guard, is averaging 17.2 points per game and has come up big when the Wildcats have needed him most. You can be sure he will have the ball in his hands if a tournament game comes down to the final possession. Opposing teams also should not overlook Chase Audige, who has chipped in 14.1 points per game this season. Long story short: the Wildcats are for real and have a great chance to grab their second-ever (and third, fourth?) tournament wins in school history.
No. 10 Boise State
Boise State enters the NCAA Tournament with all the makings of a team that can make a run. The Broncos have strong veteran leadership (senior Max Rice is averaging 14.4 PPG and shooting 42% from three), impact underclassman (sophomore Tyson Degenhart was named First-Team All-Mountain West) and a coach in Leon Rice who knows how to get his team motivated.
The Broncos finished second in the loaded Mountain West. Boise State, however, is winless in three games in March Madness under Rice, and will be looking to snap that schneid this season.