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Boise State forward Abu Kigab (24) dribbles the ball behind Fresno State defense during the game against Fresno State on March 2 at ExtraMile Arena.

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The Boise State men’s basketball team will face a gauntlet in Mountain West play this season, having to play all the teams expected to challenge for the league title twice while facing San Jose State, the ninth-place team last year, and New Mexico, the last-place team, once.

The Mountain West released its conference schedule on Friday with the Broncos scheduled to open league play on Dec. 28 at home against Fresno State. The dates announced Friday are subject to change based on the selection of the league’s two television partners, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. Television schedules are expected to be announced next month.

The Broncos will face each of the top eight teams from last year and Air Force twice, while hosting San Jose State on Feb. 5 and traveling to New Mexico on Feb. 8.

After the opener against Fresno State, the Broncos hit the road for games at Wyoming and Utah State on Jan. 1 and Jan. 4, respectively, before returning to ExtraMile Arena to face Colorado State. The Rams figure to be one of the top, if not top, favorites to win the league this year, returning all five starters from a team that won 20 games a year ago. The Broncos will also close the regular season against the Rams in Fort Collins, Colorado, on March 5.

Defending league and Mountain West Tournament champion San Diego State will host the Broncos on Jan. 22 and will visit Boise on Feb. 22. Other home games for Boise State will be Jan. 18 vs. Air Force, Jan. 25 vs. Wyoming, Feb. 12 vs. UNLV, Feb. 19 vs. Utah State and March 1 vs. Nevada.

The nonconference schedule has not yet been announced, but the Broncos will open the season Nov. 9 against Utah Valley at ExtraMile Arena. The Broncos have known home nonconference games against Saint Louis, Tulsa and Santa Clara and will have a neutral site game against Washington State in Spokane. Boise State will also face defending Atlantic-10 champion St. Bonaventure in the opening round of the Charleston Classic on Nov. 18 in a tournament which will also feature Clemson, Temple, Marquette, Ole Miss, Elon and West Virginia.

The Broncos will feature 12 returners, including three starters, to its 2021-22 roster.

BOISE STATE WOMEN TO PLAY FIVE OF FIRST SEVEN LEAGUE GAMES ON ROAD

The Boise State women’s basketball team will be road tested early as the Broncos play five of their first seven Mountain West games on the road.

Boise State will open league play Dec. 28 at Colorado State before returning home to host defending league regular season champion New Mexico on New Year’s Eve. The Broncos then head back on the road for a game against defending Mountain West Tournament champion Wyoming on Jan. 3 and a game against Nevada on Jan. 6. Following a Jan. 9 home game against Utah State, Boise State has two more road games, Jan. 13 at UNLV and Jan. 15 at San Deigo State.

After that, Boise State will play five of six at home, with a road contest at San Jose State sandwiched between two home games against Wyoming and Colorado State and a three-game homestand against Fresno State, San Deigo State and UNLV.

After three straight road games against Utah State, Air Force and New Mexico, Boise State will close the regular season with back-to-back home games. The Broncos face Nevada on Feb. 24 at ExtraMile Arena and San Jose State on Feb. 28.

John Wustrow is the assistant sports editor of the Idaho Press. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.

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