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Boise State, Colorado State fight to keep season alive

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Boise State and Colorado State finish off another busy day of Mountain West hoops at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 seed Colorado State will take on No. 3 seed Boise State in Thursday night's quarterfinal matchup at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tip-off is scheduled approximately for 11:30pm EST and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Despite a loss to San Jose State in the final game of the regular season, Boise State managed to capture the 3 seed and receive a first-round bye in the tournament.

Colorado State, with its 6th seed designation, was slotted into the 6/11 first-round game against San Jose State. The Rams cruised to an 80-61 victory over the Spartans Wednesday night thanks to 17-point outings from Joe De Ciman and Antwan Scott, earning a quarterfinal date with Boise State.

With a win Thursday, either the Rams or Broncos will keep its hopes of clinching a bid to this year's NCAA Tournament alive.

Boise State and Colorado split the season series as the Broncos edged the Rams 84-80 in January and CSU returned the favor with its infamous 97-93 overtime victory in February.

A number of key players from both sides are participating in their final Mountain West tournament, and will hope to extend their careers this weekend.

For Boise State, four Broncos are featured in major roles. Anthony Drmic - who is only 15 points shy of breaking the Boise State scoring record - has been surging down the stretch in the twilight of his college career. Two other Boise starters - Mikey Thompson (11.9 PPG) and Lonnie Jackson (39.1% 3-pt percentage) - as well as Montigo Alford (13.9 MPG) have their eyes set on a consecutive NCAA appearance for the first time in school history.

Colorado State is led by a senior core as well. Antwan Scott (16.4 PPG), Joe De Ciman (32.8 MPG) and Tiel Daniels (7.5 RPG) are the key cogs to the high-powered Ram offense. The CSU seniors have combined for 55.6% of the Rams point total this season, and could have been a significantly higher average if it weren't for Gian Clavell's season-ending injury in December.

However, CSU is a trendy pick to advance deep into the Mountain West tournament because of its offensive prowess. A number of capable offensive threats will take the floor Thursday night, and given the results from the two previous games this season, a heavy dosage of offense is anticipated. Each of the last three Boise State - Colorado State matchups have been decided by four points. Colorado State leads the all-time series 9-7.

The winner of Thursday's 3-6 game will battle the Fresno State - UNLV victor Friday night at 11:30pm EST, which can also be seen on CBS Sports Network.