The Nevada Wolf Pack will face their in-state rivals the UNLV Runnin' Rebels in the first round of the Mountain West tournament on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PT. For Nevada, it is a chance for them to erase the disappointment of regular season and continue to play on by defeating their rivals from Las Vegas. Both Nevada and UNLV split the two regular season meetings and now the Wolf Pack look to take the season series from the Rebels.
Wolf Pack guard DJ Fenner is especially pumped to face UNLV in the opening round of the tournament. "It's the rivalry. We don't like being the knock-off Vegas. We want to beat them."
The Wolf Pack have won three of the last four meetings against UNLV and Nevada has beaten the Rebels in Las Vegas the last two times which includes a 64-62 Wolf Pack victory over UNLV back on Janurary 27th when Marqueze Coleman hit the game winning shot with 4.2 seconds left.
For Nevada to win the game, AJ West must get the ball early and often in the paint. West has averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds in both games against UNLV and if the Rebels are continually going to single team the All-Mountain West center, then West should have a big game.
And if Nevada can limit its turnovers (the Wolf Pack average a league worse 14.4 turnovers a game) and make big plays down the stretch (The last four games between the Wolf Pack and the Rebels have come down to the last few possessions), then Nevada can send its rivals home and live to play another day.