The Nevada Wolf Pack (26-6, 14-4) look to clinch a berth in the 2017 Mountain West tournament final as they will face off against the Fresno State Bulldogs (20-11, 11-7) in the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament on Friday at 7pm on CBS Sports Network.
The Wolf Pack are coming off an impressive victory over Utah State in the quarterfinals on Thursday 83-69 and now will square off against a Fresno State team who has had Nevada’s number this season. The Bulldogs defeated the Wolf Pack 77-76 on January 1st in Fresno and again in Reno on January 21st by a score of 81-76.
Nevada is facing a Bulldogs team that is coming off a hard-fought 65-60 victory over New Mexico in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The win over the Lobos was clinched for the Bulldogs when Deshon Taylor nailed a three-pointer in the closing moments of the game to secure the victory and a berth in the semifinals.
For the Wolf Pack to defeat Fresno State, they must play tough in the post and rebound. While the Bulldogs are not one of the better rebounding teams in the league, they did outrebound Nevada in both regular season meetings this season and have the size in the frontcourt to cause problems for the Nevada frontcourt. So, it is imperative for Cameron Oliver and Jordan Caroline to get after the rebounds in the paint and avoid turning the ball over.
This match-up, like the previous two this season, will be another close contest between these two schools. The Bulldogs have dominated this series as of late winning six of the last seven meetings. Fresno State does have the size and toughness to defeat Nevada for a third time this season. But the Wolf Pack (most notably Cam Oliver) are just too good on offense for the Bulldogs to keep up and I think that will be the difference in this game as I see Nevada defeating Fresno State and moving on to the finals of the MW conference tournament.