March 14, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's basketball team (20-12, 10-8 MW, No. 4 seed) defeated fifth-seeded Wyoming, 71-67, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship on Thursday afternoon and has advanced to the semifinals where it will face top-seeded No. 8/7 San Diego State on Friday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Aztecs defeated eighth-seeded Utah State, 73-39, on Thursday, which set the MW Tournament record for margin of victory.
Friday's semifinal matchup between the Runnin' Rebels and the Aztecs is a matchup of the two teams with the best all-time MW Tournament records. UNLV is No. 1 with an all-time mark of 24-10, while the Aztecs are close behind at 20-10.
Outright MW regular-season champion San Diego State swept the regular-season series this year with UNLV, winning 63-52 in San Diego on Jan. 18, then 73-64 at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 5.
Friday's game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Andrew Catalon, 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 2-5 vs. the Aztecs all-time in MW Tournament play, dropping each of the last four meetings. UNLV is 0-2 all-time vs. SDSU in the MW Tournament's semifinals. The Runnin' Rebels lead the overall series between the two schools 35-23.
UNLV is now 13-1 all-time in the quarterfinals of the MW Tournament, with its only loss coming in 2009 to San Diego State. The Runnin' Rebels are 8-4 all-time in the semifinals. This year marks the 12th time that the MW Tournament has been held in Las Vegas (2000-03, 2007-14). 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 are fourth in the country in blocked shots per game at 6.5, eighth in rebounding at 40.2 rpg, 20th in effective field-goal percentage defense at 44.6 and 20th in the nation in 3-point field-goal defense, limiting their opponents to just 30.1 percent from behind the arc. Junior forward Khem Birch is second in the country in blocked shots (3.7 bpg), while junior forward Roscoe Smith is fourth in the nation in rebounding (11.1 rpg). Birch has 17 double-doubles on the year (sixth in the country as of 3/10), while Smith has 16 (eighth in the nation as of 3/10). UNLV's leading scorer is junior guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (13.7 ppg).
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT - SEMIFINAL
NO. 8/7 SAN DIEGO STATE (28-3, 16-2 Mountain West, No. 1 Seed)
UNLV (20-12, 10-8 Mountain West, No. 4 Seed)
DATE: Friday, March 14, 2014
TIME: 6 p.m. PDT
SITE: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: CBS Sports Network (Andrew Catalon, 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
March 5, 2014
Thomas & Mack Center