The next question is specifically how well K-State matches up against these two teams. The line ups of K-State, La Salle, and BSU are all the same: four guards and one big man. When asked about how his teamed matched up with BSU, La Salle’s coach remarked, “It’s shockingly similar… it’s stunning how similar it is. It truly, truly is.” The same comment will be just as applicable against K-State. Both these teams have three guards averaging between ten and 17 points per game – be sure to lock down the entire perimeter.
The similarities don’t stop there. La Salle averages 72.4 ppg, BSU 73.3. The teams allow 66.0 and 65.0 ppg, respectively. Neither team has qualified for the tournament over the past four years, so the experience will be new to both squads. About the only true difference between the two is turnover and rebounding differential – Boise State has a height advantage that should create rebounding advantage. BSU’s differential is +4.2 on the season, while La Salle is -3.0. That’s a big difference to watch. The counterbalance is La Salle’s ballhandling and defense, which result in a +3.1 turnover differential to +1.5 for Boise State.
So the match ups will be extremely similar in terms of personnel, although BSU looks a little more like K-State with Shane Southwell playing bigger than his position. La Salle had more wins in a lower quality conference. RPI rankings are essentially similar, neither has real tournament experience, and these teams have no common opponents to measure against. Given these facts, it seems to be a coin flip as to which team you’d hope to kick off the tournament against. Yet there’s one more thing to consider: Boise State’s mascot is a bronco. La Salle’s is an explorer. That’s right, it’s the Broncos vs. the Explorers. Do you really think a bronco wouldn’t kick (literally?) the crap out of an explorer? Boise State has been more tested to reach this point and held its own against stiffer conference competition. They’d likely present a stiffer opponent against K-State by a horse hair.
Apologies for the cringe-worthiness of that last sentence. Complaints can be logged below. Additionally, The Jug would love to hear your opinion: who would you rather face for K-State’s game on Friday?