Rocket-launching Rams bump the Broncos

Boise State had to contain Colorado State’s three-point shooting last night. The Broncos did not. Everyone knew what the deal was going into this game. Boise State had to contain Colorado State’s three-point shooting. The Broncos did not. The Rams, draining 13 treys, pulled away at the end and dropped BSU in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals last night, 88-81. Much of the night it looked like defense was merely a recommendation on both sides—that was especially the case for the Broncos, who kept losing track of the Rams’ shooters around the arc. Boise State itself was fine from distance in the first half, connecting on six treys. But the Broncos were 1-for-10 on three-point attempts in the second half, and that did them in offensively. A season-long theme.

Now, is Boise State’s season over? Athletic director Curt Apsey said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk the Broncos will not participate in the CIT or CBI tournaments but left the door open for the new Las Vegas 16. If BSU is invited. It’s difficult to classify this season as anything but a disappointment. It started with hopes of not only an NCAA Tournament berth, but a first-ever victory in the Big Dance. The Broncos felt like they were at least an at-large candidate, and they had that look when they rolled off a 10-game winning streak that included a victory over eventual Pac-12 regular-season champion Oregon. But Boise State hit the wall after starting 4-0 in Mountain West play. The Broncos are 20-12, having lost eight of their last 14 games. Assistant coach Jeff Linder sure sounded like it was over on the KBOI postgame show last night.

If the season is complete, Anthony Drmic will end up two points short of Boise State’s career scoring record. Drmic scored 12 points last night and has 1,942 to Tanoka Beard’s 1,944 from 1989-93. One Drmic three-point attempt will stick in the craw—he had an open look with just under four minutes left that would have given the Broncos a four-point lead and would have broken the record at the same time, and it skipped off the rim. Boise State’s other Australian, Nick Duncan, was something else. After his first three-pointer, Duncan started using his patented pump fake to get the Rams off-balance. He made his first eight field goals and finished with 23 points and six rebounds. And Duncan has one more year.

There’s a subplot today as the tournament continues in Las Vegas. The Albuquerque Journal reports that, according to “several sources,” the conference may reverse course at a board of directors meeting on its decision to limit the men’s and women’s tournament fields to eight teams beginning next year. University presidents decided in December to delete the bottom three from each event, much to the very public chagrin of Mountain West coaches. Wyoming’s Larry Shyatt was especially vociferous and drew a public reprimand from the conference. An e-mail from San Diego State coach Steve Fisher made public via a public records request indicated the coaches had vote unanimously to leave each field at 11.

Will Adams’ interview was the highlight of this week’s spring football media gatherings at Boise State. The well-spoken graduate transfer from Auburn graduate talked about his positive transition to Boise from the South, and his quick connection with the team. The Broncos need Adams—they wouldn’t have brought him in (and he wouldn’t have come) had they not penciled him in as a starter, as he has one year, and one year only. The 6-7, 303-pound offensive tackle has already been tagged with a nickname by O-line coach Scott Huff: Ron Burgundy (because of his hair). Almost makes you wish for a Broncos-Aztecs matchup in the Mountain West championship game this December, if only to hear Adams say, “Stay classy, San Diego State.”

Here are five hot Idaho Steelheads going into the weekend series at Rapid City that begins tonight. The team is spreading the wealth on offense right now—Rob Linsmayer has three goals and six points over the last six games, Joe Basaraba has scored goals in three straight games (including two game-winners last weekend) and has six goals and 13 points in the last eight games, and Andre Morrissette has six goals and 13 points in the last 14 games. Between the pipes, Branden Komm has won his last four starts for Idaho, and Philippe Desrosiers has not lost in regulation in his last nine starts. The Steelheads, who lead the ECHL West Division by four points, have not lost in regulation themselves in the past eight games. But Idaho is just 3-3-1 against the Rush this season.

A little more on Jared Cunningham’s impressive return to the Idaho Stampede Wednesday night. The former Oregon State star scored 30 points in the Stampede’s 114-113 loss to the Texas legends, and he did it in just 26 minutes of floor time. Cunningham went 8-for-18 from the field and drained five three-pointers. Also notable is Treveon Graham, who has really stepped it up since the Stampede’s recent roster upheaval. The VCU product put up 25 points Wednesday and has scored 72 points in the last three games. The Stamps return to CenturyLink Arena now for games against the Austin Spurs tonight and tomorrow night.

Elsewhere on the pro sports front, all three Treasure Valley entrants are in position to make the cut with solid rounds today at the Valspar Championship in Palm Gardens, FL. Tyler Aldridge is tied for eighth after a one-under 70 yesterday, three shots off the lead. Troy Merritt is one stroke behind Aldridge, and Graham DeLaet is another shot behind Merritt. The Portland Timbers have announced that their Timbers 2 team will play a United Soccer League game at Rocky Mountain High on June 4. The T2 squad will face the Swope Park Rangers, Sporting Kansas City’s USL affiliate. And Boise’s Brian Scott is primed for the Good Sam 500 on Sunday at Phoenix International Speedway. Scott took part in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday in Charlotte.

Allie Ostrander and David Elliott are set to represent Boise State at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Birmingham. Both Bronco standouts are doubling up, with Ostrander running the 3,000 and 5,000-meters. The Alaskan true freshman has the top time in the country this season in the 3,000 and the second-best mark in the 5,000. Tops in the 5,000 is Notre Dame’s Molly Seidel, who edged Ostrander to win the NCAA Cross Country Championships last fall. Elliott, meanwhile, will race in the mile and 3,000-meters.

There are numerous other campus things this weekend, including Senior Night this evening for the Boise State women’s gymnastics team. The Broncos have an opportunity for two wins tonight when they host a tri-meet versus Southern Utah and San Jose State in Taco Bell Arena. If the Broncos can pull it off, they’ll be 12-0—the best start in school history. The team coach Greg Patton is calling “the wandering minstrels of tennis” finally returns home for the first time since January. The Boise State men host Michigan State tomorrow at the Appleton Center. The College of Idaho women’s alpine ski team finished sixth yesterday in the slalom, and the men were third in the skier-cross at the USCSA National Championships at Lake Placid. And for the second straight weekend, the Coyotes baseball team has had a series moved to Wolfe Field in Caldwell. It’s going to be too soggy at Oregon Tech.

In the Big Sky Tournament last night, Idaho moved into tonight’s semifinals in Reno with a 77-73 win over Eastern Washington, and Idaho State’s season came to an end with an 83-49 thumping at the hands of North Dakota. Finally, all hail Marty Holly. It was 20 years ago tomorrow that the C of I, then known as Albertson College, beat Whitworth in overtime, 81-72, to win the NAIA Division II national basketball championship at Montgomery Fieldhouse in Nampa. The triumph gave Holly, now the C of I athletic director, the crown jewel of his 19-year stint coaching the Yotes.

This Day In Sports…March 11, 1986, 30 years ago today:

The NFL adopts the instant replay rule to begin on a limited basis during the 1986 season. The move established the replay official in the booth and concentrated on plays involving possession, sidelines, goal lines, end lines and the line of scrimmage. Instantly controversial, the rule was gone by 1992. The current replay system was instituted in 1999, giving coaches the ability to challenge calls on the field.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)