UNLV Rebels (20-12) at Nevada Wolf Pack (26-16)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm (Thomas & Mack Center)
The Line: Nevada Wolf Pack -6.5 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The UNLV Rebels and 22nd ranked Nevada Wolf Pack will square off at the Thomas & Mack Center this Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Men’s Championship.
The UNLV Rebels improved to 20-12 (8-10 MW) on the season after defeating the Air Force Falcons, 97-90 in OT, yesterday afternoon. UNLV allowed Air Force to fight back from a 13-point 2nd half deficit to force overtime, however, the Rebels jumped all over the Falcons early in the overtime period and had no trouble securing the victory after taking a 92-83 lead with just :58 seconds left. UNLV shot 49.2% from the field and outrebounded Nevada by a 41-31 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Rebels was Brandon McCoy who had a double-double with 23 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and an assist. On the season, UNLV is averaging 83.3 ppg on 49.2% shooting from the field. The Rebels are averaging 5.5 three-pointers per game on 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UNLV has been led by Brandon McCoy (16.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg), Shakur Juiston (14.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.9 apg), Jordan Johnson (14.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.2 spg), and Jovan Mooring (13.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, UNLV is allowing their opponents to average 77.7 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Rebels have a rebound margin of 5.1 and a turnover margin of -2.6.
The 22nd ranked Nevada Wolf Pack finished their season with an overall record of 26-6 and earned the top-seed in the Mountain West Men’s Championship after finishing conference play with a 15-3 record. Nevada dropped their regular season finale on the road at San Diego State, however, the Wolf Pack has won 8 of their last 10 games and has solid wins over Rhode Island, Boise State, and Fresno State on their resume. Nevada has been led by their offense that ranks 17th in scoring offense, 54th in FG%, 15th in 3P-FG%, and 57th in FT%. On the season, Nevada is averaging 83.5 ppg on 47.2% shooting from the field. The Wolfpack are averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Nevada has been led by Caleb Martin (19.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Jordan Caroline (17.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.0 apg), Cody Martin (14.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.5 bpg), and Kendall Stephens (13.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg). Defensively, Nevada is allowing their opponents to average 72.3 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Wolf Pack have a rebound margin of 0.7 and a turnover margin of 2.9.
The Rebels are 6-18-3 ATS in their last 27 games following a ATS loss and 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 games overall. The Wolf Pack are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up loss and 20-7-1 ATS in their last 28 games following a ATS loss.
UNLV and Nevada split their regular season series as UNLV won by an 86-78 margin on the road in early February while the Wolf Pack recently defeated the Rebels by a 101-75 margin on February 28th.
UNLV was able to survive against Air Force, however, the Rebels can’t feel that great going into this game as they’ve lost 5 of their last 6 games which included a 26-point blowout against Nevada less than two weeks ago. Nevada has one of the better offenses in the country that can really put points up on the board and although UNLV has a great duo in Brandon McCoy and Shakur Juiston, it’s hard to see the Rebels finding a way to slow down the Wolf Pack on the offensive end. If UNLV was playing more like we saw them play during the middle of the season I would be tempted to take the points considering it’s basically a home game for UNLV, however, after watching the Rebels that last two weeks, I just don’t think they have enough to be competitive in this one. Take Nevada to cover.
Please Note: Team/Players ranking for the UNLV currently don’t include results from their 3/7 victory over Air Force.