Boise State's bubble presumably popped Saturday afternoon as the Broncos (16-8, 7-4) fell to the Air Force Falcons (12-12, 3-8) at the Clune Arena. C.J. Siples had a career day for Air Force, scoring 25 points and draining 4 of 5 from deep.
Lonnie Jackson led Boise State with 16 points as the Broncos lost their fourth game out of the last seven after a school-best 10-game winning streak.
It was a very frustrating day for Boise State. The Broncos dug themselves into a 10-point hole after going cold in the first half, making only one field goal in a nine minute stretch. But BSU climbed back in the closing minutes of the first half with a 10-2 run, taking a 31-30 lead into intermission.
The second half was the downfall yet again for Boise State, which has been the case many times this season. BSU suffered a lengthy scoring drought, going nearly seven minutes without a made field goal. This time, the Broncos didn't have enough in the tank to replicate their thrilling comeback against Utah State. A James Webb III free throw cut the deficit to 56-53, but Air Force's Hayden Graham had an answer, drilling a 3 late in the shot clock which ended up being the dagger.
It is evident that Boise State needs a spark. Last year, coach Leon Rice inserted then-freshman Chandler Hutchison into the lineup and the Broncos ended up going on a tear which resulted in a NCAA Tournament bid. With a loss to Air Force (which ranks 284th in KenPom), Boise State's at-large hopes are likely finished, but that does not mean that the Broncos can't take three games in Vegas and score an automatic bid.
Where will Boise State go from here? Expect something new out of the Broncos in the next few games. This is an extremely talented and well-coached team that is capable of going on a 2015-Wyoming like run to end the season.
Up next for Boise State is a road matchup against Colorado State.
Air Force will ride its momentum into Reno as the Falcons take on Nevada.