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Boise State AD Jeramiah Dickey previews the Broncos' trip to the big dance

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Boise State is the No. 8 seed in the West bracket of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
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WATCH LIVE: Boise State vs. Memphis

Boise State Athletic Director Jeramiah Dickey says sure, he’s a bit biased, but he could sense something very special was happening each time the men’s basketball team took to the court.

“You could feel it. They dug deep,” said Dickey. “And as the season went on … we got better defensively. We got better at rebounding, we got better at playing as a team.”

Capping a record-winning regular season and coming out atop the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos now await their moment in the national spotlight in the NCAA national tournament.

Dickey visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about preparations for the tournament, ticket information and the team behind the team that helped build this championship season.

“We're ranked number 23 in the nation … and I believe it's the highest ranking we’ve had in our history.”

Read the full transcript below:

GEORGE PRENTICE: It is Morning Edition on. Boise State Public Radio News, good morning. I'm George Prentice. This promises to be one of the most exciting weeks for Boise State men's basketball in quite some time. Fans are preparing for Thursday when the Broncos step into the national spotlight and the madness that is March… the NCAA men's basketball tournament. So, we're going to spend some time this morning with the man who is in the eye of much of that excitement. He is Jeramiah Dickey, athletic director at Boise State. Jeramiah. Good morning.

JERAMIAH DICKEY: Good morning. Thanks for having me on, George.

PRENTICE: Congratulations to you and all of your colleagues. It's a pretty big team on and off the court.

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Boise State Athletic Director Jeramiah Dickey

DICKEY: First and foremost, I can't think Bronco Nation enough for their support this year and how they backed this team and continue to show up. And it means so much to those student athletes and our staff here, and we are so very grateful. And that team behind the team, they don't get a lot of credit…I can't thank them enough. It's been a challenging year, but it's been epic, and we've set unrealistic expectations, are going to produce separate results and that's what's happening, and we plan on continuing this into the future.

PRENTICE: I want to talk about the matchup in a moment, but first, can you talk about all of the moving parts of having to instantly put together all of your programs, travel plans?

DICKEY: You know, we're fortunate that there's a few of us that have gone through this process before, and I'm a creature of habit, so consistency is important. We just had a two-hour meeting this morning. We met Sunday. We were already talking last week on starting to put our plans together and so it's not as quick of a turnaround as maybe people think once you know. And once we won the regular season, we knew we were in. And so it's allowed us to get out in front of some things and it's a fun time for our staff and we're trying to enjoy the moment. But there you said it, there are a lot of moving pieces, and you know, our flight manifest is due here and in 20 minutes and there's hotels and podiums and you were navigating student travel and band and spirit and trying to put together some events. So we take advantage of every moment. This is this is a historic moment for our basketball program and something that we're going to utilize, and it becomes a foundation that will explode off of, and I'm really excited about what's next for us.

PRENTICE: Boise State has a limited allotment of tickets available until noon today. The reason I want to bring that up is because that's truly where the advantage of being a season ticket holder comes in.

DICKEY: You hit it right on the head. And obviously, any time you get to use your priority points system is there's value in that. We want people to buy season tickets. We want people to donate to our enhancement from. We want people to be a band member. It all matters, and it allows us to fund things for this program and to serve appropriately our staff and student athletes and ultimately the experience we provide our fans. And so yes, there's limited number, but we're doing our best to try to get as many tickets as possible because we know that there's a lot of interest. I think we we've gotten over a thousand plus requests and it's awesome. It's a good problem to have and it's something that I look forward to every year. It creates some difficult conversations, you know, but we're going to do our best to provide a customer service and be transparent through that process.

PRENTICE: Boise State is the No. 8 seed in the West. Memphis is No. 9.  For a casual fan. Could you talk a little bit about how some of the most thrilling match ups have been between the eight vs. nine seeds?

DICKEY: I know there's a lot of conversation on our seating we're in and that's what's important. Those kids are so excited and seeing their faces and getting the hugs and the high fives, and we're excited just to have this experience. And they've worked so hard for it. And those games are always exciting. You know, you're usually close. And obviously, in the case of Memphis, this is an unbelievable opportunity for us. We have obviously some experiences with them last year and then I t and which we were close… they are very athletic, and I expect a really good game. I also expect a lot of support for our Broncos there with the Zags in town. You know, I fully expect them to support Leon and this team and that's going to be exciting, but it's going to be a tough matchup and really any matchup. Once you make the tournament and you're the best of the best and every matchup is going to be tough and it's one and done. And so everyone's going to bring their A-game, and we're excited about that because we've been doing that all year.

PRENTICE: I know there's not a lot of time for reflection this week, but it was right around the holidays, at least from a fan perspective, that you could sense something really special was happening this season.

DICKEY: I felt it earlier. Now I'm biased, and I fully admit that, but I remember when we were three and four now you saw I saw the team and I saw how they how they were coming together and how they had each other's backs. And a lot of people counted us out and that run started. And you could feel it. They dug deep. And as the season went on, which a lot of times you don't see, we got better defensively. We got better at rebounding, we got better at playing as a team. And you've heard people say, Oh, we don't have that one guy or I wouldn't ask for anything more than what we have this this team is it's a brotherhood that that they've really embraced, and I'm really excited to see them play on Thursday morning. And this is this is a great time to be a Bronco and really, really looking forward to this Portland trail.

PRENTICE: And you will undoubtedly have a lot of new Boise state fans this week, for

DICKEY: Sure, as we should. We're ranked number….and I believe it's the highest ranking we had in our history.

PRENTICE: Is it 23?

DICKEY: Twenty-three and that's a testament. You know, you have to earn it and we have, and you know, and now it leads to other opportunities for us. And we've always been known as a football school, rightfully so. And you know, we are not a one-horse department. We have 18 sport programs in and I look at the success of volleyball winning the tournament and going into a tournament and football obviously becoming bowl eligible. And now men's basketball and gymnastics being ranked in cross country and softball is having an epic season. We are not just a football program. We have 18 sport programs and we represent this community and Bronco nation as a whole. And as an athletic director, I couldn't be prouder of that.

PRENTICE: I know it's a heavy lift this week, but I certainly hope you, your family and your friends have a lot of fun. He is Jeremiah Dickey, Athletic Director at Boise State University. Congratulations.

DICKEY: Thank you, George. I appreciate it and we will have a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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