March 11, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's basketball team (19-12, 10-8 MW) is the No. 4 seed in the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship and will play No. 5 seed Wyoming (18-13, 9-9) on Thursday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. It will be the second of four quarterfinal games held that day.
The Runnin' Rebels tied for third place in the league standings with Nevada, Reno, but because the Wolf Pack recorded a head-to-head season sweep, UNR is the No. 3 seed.
Thursday's game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Rich Waltz, Steve Lappas, Doug Gottlieb and Lauren Gardner (sidelines) calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the radio call, which may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100/98.9 FM. The radio broadcast listen link, along with Gametracker are available at UNLVRebels.com.
The Runnin' Rebels are 3-0 vs. the Cowboys in MW Tournament play, winning a 2000 semifinal and in the 2005 and 2012 quarterfinals. UNLV holds a league-best 23-10 all-time record in the MW Tournament, while Wyoming is 8-14. The Runnin' Rebels won this season's only meeting with Wyoming, 48-46, on Feb. 8 at the Thomas & Mack Center and lead the overall series by a 33-15 margin.
UNLV is 12-1 all-time in the quarterfinals of the MW Tournament, with its only loss coming in 2009 to San Diego State. The MW Tournament has been held in Las Vegas 11 times (2000-03, 2007-13) and UNLV has won the title on three occasions (2000, 2007, 2008). The Runnin' Rebels have advanced to eight MW Tournament championship games (seven in Las Vegas and one in Denver), including last season when they lost to New Mexico.
The Runnin' Rebels, who are coming off a 76-72 road loss at Nevada, Reno on Saturday in its regular-season finale, are tied for third in the country in blocked shots per game at 6.6, eighth in rebounding at 40.2 rpg, 15th in effective field-goal percentage defense at 44.3 and 18th in the nation in 3-point field-goal defense, limiting their opponents to just 29.9 percent from behind the arc. Junior forward Khem Birch is second in the country in blocked shots (3.8 bpg), while junior forward Roscoe Smith is fourth in the nation in rebounding (11.0 rpg). Birch has 17 double-doubles on the year (sixth in the country), while Smith has 15 (10th in the nation). UNLV's leading scorer is junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (13.4 ppg).
Smith has missed the last two games with a concussion, while Dejean-Jones was suspended for Saturday's game for conduct detrimental to the team. Both are expected to play Thursday.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT - QUARTERFINAL
WYOMING (18-13, 9-9 Mountain West, No. 5 Seed)
UNLV (19-12, 10-8 Mountain West, No. 4 Seed)
DATE: Thursday, March 13, 2014
TIME: 2:30 p.m. PDT
SITE: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: CBS Sports Network (Rich Waltz, Steve Lappas, Doug Gottlieb, Lauren Gardner)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith)
ONLINE: Radio (audio) & Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com
CLICK HERE FOR FULL VERSION OF GAME NOTES (PDF)
The Last Meeting
February 8, 2014
Thomas & Mack Center