2013 NCAA tournament: Cal likes matchup with UNLV

Jeff Bottari

Cal fans love the matchup against UNLV.

My bickering of where the Mountain West teams has already been documented, and I don't want keep harping on the seeds -- teams now just have to play who is in fronth of them.

UNLV was given a five seed by the committee, and to be honeset is a higher seed that the Rebels probably deserved. However, the flipside of that is that they play Cal in a rematch, which UNLV won by a point, but the game is being played just 45 miles from Cal's campus.

It is no surprise that the folks over at California Golden Blogs love this matchup:

CBS made us wait a bit, but the Bears will be dancing. And, frankly, the committee gave the Bears a gift. For the first time in forever, Cal is the team playing in their own backyard, in San Jose. If we all don't make Silicon Valley Bear Territory next weekend, then we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

And it's a team we know the Bears are capable of beating, because it's a rematch of an earlier game between the Bears and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. Cal lost a heart-breaker at Haas Pavilion this year on a last second buzzer-beater. The committee seemingly broke a rule about avoiding rematches, but it works in Cal's favor in the end. UNLV is a solid team, but we know Cal can compete.

The committee claims they had no choice but to place these teams where they did, not really buying that, but it doesn't matter any more, the two teams need to lineup and play.

Both teams are different than when they played way back in early December. In that first game UNLV barely had the services of Mike Moser -- he played just five minutes -- Mountain West defenisve player of the year Khem Birch was not eligible and the team is starting gel with all the new pieces. The only constant is that Anthony Bennett has taken over as the team leader.

Regardless of location this should be a good game, and one that UNLV should also go out as the victors.

Don't forget to get your printable bracket, right here.

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