Thomas & Mack Center 8PM PT TV:
This game looks to be an early indication of who the team to beat in the league could be. However with UNLV's surprise loss to Air Force the Rebels could really use this win to even things up with favorite BYU. The game being at home is a huge advantage for the Rebels, because BYU is only 2-2 in true road games. The Rebels really need Guard Wink Adams to be more consistent in his play, because he is one of the leaders on the team and can not really afford to have too many games were he scores less then 12 points per game. The Rebels have depth and 6 players play at least 2o minutes per game which gives them a lot of different looks to throw at BYU. As for BYU they really need their big three to show up in Trent Plaisted, Lee Cummard, and Jonathan Tavernari who combine to score around 45 points per game. BYU hoops goes through these guys and if one or more then one have an off night then the Cougars will struggle to win. If BYU has their 3 studs playing well they should win this and most games, and since BYU has all ready played 2 games in Las Vegas they are very familiar with the location. I expect BYU to win this game because of UNLV's last game, when they allowed Air Force to shoot such a high percentage.
This is a statement game for TCU to see if they are for real in the conference. So far they have had games with being impressive and others where it looks like last years team that have not been all that great. New Mexico is coming off a close loss to SDSU at home over the weekend, and are searching for their first conference win of the year. Looking at each teams statistics they are pretty even in everything, but the main difference I see is steals per game where TCU averages 5 more per game then New Mexico, that could make a difference if TCU can makes those into easy baskets. In playmakers TCU has two players Henry Salter and Kevin Langford who are their players who can score about 15 each per game while New Mexico's leading scorer J.R. Giddens who scores 13 a game. However New Mexico does play 7 players at least 20 minutes per game so they have the depth to play the hot player. As for the outcome I am persuaded by TCU's recent lack of success I would have no problem choosing New Mexico, but TCU is improved and New Mexico has beaten nobody this year. I still expect New Mexico to win but this will be a tough game.