USA TODAY Sports
UNLV is coming off a hard fought victory in Viejas Arena over San Diego State and face another tough challenge against a Rams squad that is still looking for that marquee upset victory to put on their NCAA Tournament resume.
When the betting line is set at even for a basketball game, you know it's going to be good.
The Colorado State Rams are coming off of a tough overtime loss to San Diego State in San Diego and a 39 point home thrashing of Air Force. Yes, the same Air Force that UNLV struggled to beat in overtime at home. Hopefully for UNLV things have changed since then, as the Runnin' Rebels looked like a completely different team in their victory over San Diego State on the road on Wednesday. Today's game against Colorado State will be a good marker as to whether or not the Rebels flipped the switch or if the SDSU game was just a flash in the pan of what the team's potential is.
UNLV has some advantages against Colorado State that other schools the Rams have faced so far this conference season do not. The Rebels have two dominant post players, Anthony Bennett and Khem Birch, who definitely will look to hinder the production of star transfer Colton Iverson. I certainly don't think that the duo will be able shut him down completely, but certainly look for Bennett and Birch to do their damage inside.
Both teams rebound the ball extremely well - UNLV is 8th in the nation for rebounds per game while Colorado State is 5th for the same statistic. The battle for rebounds will be extremely important for both teams, as UNLV's main defensive breakdowns tend to come on second-chance opportunities and Colorado State tends to get many of them.
As expected, the most important key that the game hinges on for both squads is turnovers. Turnovers are essentially free points for the other team, and if you give up 15 or more turnovers, it certainly isn't going to be easy to win for either squad.