Memphis Tigers vs. Boise State Broncos – NIT March 25

NIT Quarterfinal

(2) Boise State (19-8, 14-6) vs. (1) Memphis (17-8, 11-4)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Comerica Center, Frisco, TX
  • TV: ESPN

Opening Tip

This is the first-ever meeting between the Broncos and Tigers as it pits a pair of teams who should have been in the NCAA Tournament as they both could have caused major headaches for any number of teams in the field.

Boise State snapped a four-game losing streak with last week’s 85-84 win over SMU as the Broncos hit a tough stretch at an inopportune time with the loss of a back-to-back at San Diego State before a home loss to Fresno State and then the third loss of the season to Nevada in the Mountain West Tournament. The Broncos sported an 18-4 mark before the trip to San Diego and were clearly inside of the NCAA’s field of 68.

Memphis has won 12 out of its last 15 games including Saturday’s 71-60 win over Dayton in their NIT opener. The Tigers took care of business as two of their losses were to Houston on a 67-64 buzzer-beater on the last day of the season and then a 76-74 loss to the Cougars in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament.

Vs. The Spread

Boise State:

  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boise State’s last 7 games
  • The Broncos are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when cast as the underdog
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of Boise State’s last 6 games played in March


  • The Tigers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Tigers’ last 5 outings
  • The tigers are 11-0 SU in their last 11 games when playing as the favorite

Last Time Out

Boise State jumped to an early 30-9 lead on SMU last Saturday before having to stave off the Mustangs on a stick back by Devonaire Doutrive with 10 seconds remaining for the 85-84 win. Boise State stuck eight of its first 10 threes en route to a fate in the NIT quarterfinals.

Landers Nolley scored 21 points and Lester Quinones had 15 as Memphis topped Dayton, 71-60. The Tigers shot 43.8 percent and made 10 threes as Memphis closed the game on a 15-2 run after trailing 58-56 with 6:31 to play.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Boise State +4.5 (-110) +165 O 143 (-110)
Memphis -4.5 (-110) -190 U 143 (-110)

Advantage, Boise State

Boise State Broncos LogoCoach Leon Rice has built a winning culture with the Broncos as they have posted at least 20 wins in eight of his 10 seasons at BSU. This matchup can be billed as the solid Boise State offense against a Memphis defense that is second in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, per

Derrick Alston, Jr., (65, 39.2%-3) and Marcus Shaver (27 37.5%-3) are the top three-point shooters for Boise State and will look to solve a Memphis three-point defense that has consistently stopped opponents from behind the arc at 27.4 percent. The Broncos have six players who have 22 triples or more and can spread the floor with their positionless approach.

Key Broncos Stat:

Alston, a red-shirt senior, averaged 18.1 points and shot 46.1 percent from the field in Mountain West play and 38.6 percent from three and 85.7 percent from the line. He is the only player in the Mountain West to rank in the Top 10 in each of those categories.


Alston and Abu Kigab are good at taking defenders of the dribble and getting to the line as they have attempted 104 and 102 free throws each. The speed and quickness of Memphis on the defensive is a disruptive force and Rice said earlier this week it was almost impossible to simulate what the Tigers do defensively.

Advantage, Memphis

Memphis Tigers LogoPenny Hardaway has developed a solid culture based on defense and sharing the ball on offense to the point where there are seven Tigers averaging between 12.9 and 6.3 points per game. Nolley and Boogie Ellis are the two top three-point shooters while Lester Quinones and DJ Jeffries get into the paint. Quinones joins Nolley and Ellis as another prime Tigers shooter. How and where to attack the quickness of this team is the question as the Tigers have so many ways to attack offensively.

Key Tigers Stat:

DeAndre Williams (11.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) brings the energy to both ends of the floor for Hardaway as he is the second leading scorer and rebounder. Figure in his efforts on defense and he’s the heart of this team and it’s catalyst.


The free-throw line has been a major problem for the Tigers all season as they make only 61.6 percent of their 497 attempted free throws. Take Nolley’s 80.7 percent out of the equation and it is an even more dire undertaking. Boise State is at 74.4 percent, so this statistic bears watching throughout the night.

Winner: Memphis (-4.5) 73, Boise State 67

The Bets
Memphis Tigers -4.5
Memphis Tigers
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.