Utah State Aggies players celebrate after defeating Boise State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament at UNLV’s Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Utah Sate won 72-62,

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

LAS VEGAS — A bunch of impersonators dressed in black basketball jerseys took over the basketball court at the Thomas & Mack Center late Friday night in the first half of the Mountain West Conference semifinal between heated rivals Utah State and Boise State.

They weren’t dressed like Elvis, Spiderman or the Statue of Liberty, but they kind of played like those characters often found happily posing for photographs on the nearby Las Vegas Strip — for a small donation, of course.

“Champions always answer. That’s Aggie basketball.” — Utah State guard Steven Ashworth.

Some how, some way, the Aggies returned to their real selves in the second half — after hearing coach Ryan Odom’s passionate halftime locker room plea to “Be Us” — and eventually rolled past the Broncos 72-62 to advance to Saturday’s championship game.

Third-seeded Utah State (26-7) will face top-seeded San Diego State (26-6) at 4 p.m. MST for the crown and the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, although both squad are seemingly assured a spot in the Big Dance if the latest bracketology projections are accurate.

The Aggies certainly passed the eye test Friday — at least in the second half.

“We were very fortunate to be where we were at at halftime.” Odom said.

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Utah State basketball: Aggies will meet San Diego State in title game

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