And then, there were two.
After a hard-fought pair of semifinal games on Friday night, we have 40 minutes of basketball left to be played in the 2017 Mountain West men’s basketball season.
In the first matchup of the double-header, Nevada used a dominating second half to down the defending Mountain West champs, the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Led by Marcus Marshall and Cameron Oliver combining for 55 points, nine rebounds, six assists and 79 minutes played, the Wolf Pack erased an 11-point first half deficit.
Nevada could not miss in the second half, with an unbelievable 19 of 24 mark in the second period after converting just seven of its 30 field goal attempts prior to halftime.
With 17:03 left in the game, Fresno State held a comfortable 38-31 advantage. Then Nevada followed with 16-2 run and never looked back. The Bulldogs committed 17 fouls and turned the ball over seven times in the final 20 minutes, allowing Nevada to advance the Mountain West title game with a 83-72 victory.
In the following matchup, San Diego State entered the game with hopes of avenging two losses to Colorado State earlier in the season.
The Aztecs started with the same momentum it had carried over from its win over Boise State. SDSU raced out to a 10-2 advantage before the first TV timeout and was up 22-11 before converting just one field goal over the next five and a half minutes. Colorado State closed the gap to a 36-30 SDSU lead at the break.
The second half was far more back and forth. The Aztecs once again started hot but CSU stormed back, in similar fashion as it did in the previous two matchups this season. SDSU suffered yet another five minute scoreless streak, but this time the Aztecs were unable to rebound.
Gian Clavell, the Mountain West player of the year, iced the game with a gorgeous step back three-point dagger and it was followed by another deep triple by J.D. Paige. San Diego State couldn’t finish at the rim or from the outside in the final possessions as Colorado State lived to play another day, topping SDSU for the third time on the year, this time by a score of 71-63.
The dates, TV/stream viewing options and tip-off times are listed below. To stream CBS Sports Network one must have one of these five pay-TV providers.
Wednesday, March 8 (First round)
Air Force 83, Wyoming 68
Thursday, March 9 (Quarterfinals)
Fresno State 65, New Mexico 60
San Diego State 87, Boise State 68
Friday, March 10 (Semifinals)
Nevada 83, Fresno State 72
Saturday, March 11 (Championship)
Colorado State vs. Nevada - 3pm PT, CBS Sports/CBSSports.com