March 7, 2009 1:21 pm ET by Kyle Whelliston
Nevada at Boise State (Western Athletic)
Taco Bell Arena - Boise, ID
10:15 PM EST
This is it: the final regular season weekend, and the last Game! Of! The! Night! of 2008-09. Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow. So is partying, which is what the virtual G!O!T!N! camera crew will be doing in Boise tonight after the game. (Provided, that is, they can find somewhere to party in Boise.) I just want to thank everybody on the crew for their great work this year: all that traveling is hard, you know. Thanks to Rhody Rick in the truck, Li'l Slummy, Chuckles on Camera 2 and of course to our interns Norbert and Dorcas. And C-Jazz Charlie, if you're out there, sorry on behalf of all of us that the shuttle bus left you behind in Normal, Ill. back on January 3. I've been advised by legal counsel that I can't comment beyond that.
We all know that Utah State wrapped up the one-seed sometime in early January, but this game tonight is for the silver medal. Nevada is 10-5 and has already beaten Boise State by 14 points, but the current 9-6 Broncos would unleash a series of WAC-wide tiebreakers if they can win this game and pull into a tie. Aside from the inherent motivation of senior night -- Mark Sanchez, Aaron Garner and Jamar Greene will receive framed jerseys this evening -- BSU is the defending champion of this conference and wants to begin its title defense in the best position possible. The Broncos boast the best 2-point shooting in the WAC (52.1 percent from inside the arc), due in large part to the 6-7 Sanchez and his team-leading 12.9 ppg, and the guards make up for their lackluster offensive production by shutting down the perimeter to the tune of a 31.9 percent 3-point field goal defense. And while it won't get a team in the NCAA's, the Broncos' next win will be their 20th. They've never had back-to-back 20-win seasons at Boise before.
Nevada, on the other hand, might see its five-year streak of 20-win campaigns come to a close. The Wolf Pack is 18-11 overall, and has been mired in a re-something year. While Nevada did earn two Red Line Upsets (Oregon State and Colorado State), the team was still too disjointed and young to take advantage of chances against UNLV, Cal or North Carolina. Next season, when the underclassman core of Malik Cooke, Armon Johnson and future conference POY Luke Babbitt (16.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg as a freshman) comes back, those type of wins will come. The days of a one-bid, walkover WAC are swiftly coming to a close -- so, too, is Season 5.
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