When the season started, expectations were low for Nevada basketball. There's good reason, as the Wolf Pack were coming off a 9-22 season, and their head coach Dave Carter was fired.
However Nevada exceeded expectations spectacularly. They made the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament, and are now in the finals of the College Basketball Invitation against Morehead State.
Unlike both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT, the CBI Finals are a best-of-three series. The first game will take place at Morehead State, and Nevada will host Game Two and Game Three if necessary.
Nevada hasn't played away from Lawlor Events Center since they lost to San Diego State in the conference tournament. The Wolf Pack have been excellent at home this season, losing only three games on their home court. They have had the luxury of playing all their games in the CBI at home, beating Montana, Eastern Washington and Vermont to reach the finals. The Wolf Pack are playing their best basketball of the season right now, winning their last two games by an average of 14.5 points.
Morehead State has beaten Siena, Duquense and Ohio in order to reach the finals. Unlike Nevada, however, they had to go on the road against Siena and Ohio. While it's a very small sample size, the Eagles have played better at home during the tournament, winning by 10 at home compared to a 4.5 point win-margin while on the road.
Offensively, Morehead State is led by Corban Collins. Collins leads the team with 11.7 PPG and 3.1 APG, as well as playing the most minutes. He's also a threat from deep, shooting 44% on the season. Not to be outdone, Xavier Moon is second in the team in scoring, and shoots 43% from three.
Nevada is firing on all cylinders right now, but they also haven't had to travel for a game recently. However, I don't think going on the road will be enough to throw the Wolf Pack off, and they will still win the first game.
Nevada 77, Morehead State 73