Boise State played its home basketball opener on Saturday night and the announced attendance was 2,650. Repeat: This was the team’s home opener.

Pretty sad showing for such a circumstance but Boise has never been confused with the nation’s college basketball hotbeds. When you factor in that it was the Broncos’ only home game over the first four weeks of this season (their next home game is Dec. 12 against the University of San Diego) the crowd count becomes even more disappointing.

Boise State would eventually like to be part of the Mountain West Conference and its football program would be a tremendous fit for the Mountain West. In fact, adding Boise State to three conference football powers (Texas Christian, Utah and Brigham Young) would further the conference’s argument that it is worthy of an automatic BCS bid.

I covered San Diego State’s athletic program for a long time (ending in Jan. 2007) and I can tell you that Mountain West officials in the past have had concerns with the quality of Boise State’s overall athletic program. And yes, men’s basketball is one of the areas that hasn’t been viewed as up to par.

So if Boise residents and backers of Boise State athletics truly want to see the Broncos’ conference affiliation upgraded from the Western Athletic to the Mountain West, better support of the basketball program is a must. A home-opening crowd of 2,650 (perhaps helped with a bit of padding) just isn’t going to cut it.

Oh yeah, Boise State won the game — 79-73 over North Texas. Here’s a fine write-up in the Denton Record-Chronicle (http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/sports/college/stories/DRC_UNThoops_112909.301bd2a65.html).

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