2014 Mountain West tournament: Wyoming vs. UNLV

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys snuck into the conference tournament as the No. 5-seed, but have a very tough game against the No. 4-seed Runnin’ Rebels on their home court.

WHAT: No. 5-seed Wyoming Cowboys (18-13, 9-9 MWC) vs. No. 4-seed UNLV Rebels (19-12, 10-8 MWC)

WHEN: Thursday, March 13th @ 2:30 p.m. PST

WHERE: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

LINE: UNLV by 8 (Last meeting line - UNLV by 6, Last meeting result - UNLV by 2)

TV COVERAGE: CBS Sports Network

LAST MEETING: These two teams met under similar yet very different circumstances back in early February. Wyoming came into the matchup with Larry Nance Jr. still anchoring the team, and had only allowed 70 points once in the 22 games leading up to that matchup. UNLV scored a season low 48 points, but still managed to do just enough to walk away with a 48-46 home victory.

What to Watch - Wyoming: The Cowboys are now operating without Nance, and since his absence have allowed opponents to score 70 or more points in three of those five games; a stretch that also encompassed a four game losing streak that finally ended with a desperately needed win against Colorado State at home to close out the season.

Wyoming continues to search for ways to win with their shorter lineup, which is not only shorter by height, but also by depth after losing additional talent post-Nance due to team rules violations. If the Cowboys are to have a viable chance against these rebounding Rebels, they will need all hands on deck to crash the boards, stay out of foul trouble, make free-throws, and likely need someone to emerge with a 25 to 30 point outing.

What to Watch - UNLV: Everyone knows the Rebels are playing on their home court, so there is absolutely no reason to talk about it here - just kidding, it is and always will be a factor. But the more that it's discussed, the more pressure they could face to deliver on the expectation of victory. Fans are relentless, and short-term memory often presides over last season's production. UNLV has misfired on several occasions this year and are looking to put those demons to rest when it counts the most, which is right now.

The Rebels will look to not let the hometown pressure and "home court" stigma bother them while they look to build their NCAA Tournament resume. Keep in mind that as of this week, very few of the nation's leading NCAA tournament bracketologists (which is a thing) have yet to seriously take notice and include UNLV into the at-large, or even bubble discussion. Unfortunately a win over a misfiring Wyoming squad doesn't assist the argument much either - so one has to understand, that between the hometown expectations, the MWC's lack of tournament prospects and a spotty resume with holes to fill; this Rebel team has a lot on their minds going into the week - hopefully one of those things is what Wyoming will throw at them on Thursday.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Join Mountain West Connection

You must be a member of Mountain West Connection to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mountain West Connection. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker