Justin Hawkins and the Runnin' Rebels will be trying to win their first MW Championship since 2008 on Saturday.
March 16, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's basketball team (25-8) defeated Air Force, 72-56, on Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinals, and Colorado State, 75-65, in the semifinals on Friday night to advance to Saturday afternoon's championship game of the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship at the Thomas & Mack Center. This marks the first time since 2010 that the Runnin' Rebels have made it to the championship game. UNLV has now won two straight games and seven and its last eight overall, improving its record at the TMC to 18-2 this season.
The Runnin' Rebels will face top-seeded No. 15/14 New Mexico (28-5) on Saturday, March 16, at 3:10 p.m. in the final. UNLV is 4-1 vs. ranked teams this season and finished in third place in the league standings, three games out of first and one game back of second to earn the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament.
Saturday's game will be will be televised by CBS with Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Reggie Miller calling the action. Jon Sandler and Robert Smith will handle the UNLV radio call, which may be heard live in Las Vegas on ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM and online at UNLVRebels.com through the subscription-based All-Access feature. Dave Sims and Bill Frieder will handle the national radio call on Dial Global Sports, which also may be heard on Sirius/XM 91.
The Runnin' Rebels, who won their 101st game in the past four seasons on Friday are 3-1 all-time vs. the Lobos in MW Tournament play, winning a memorable double-overtime quarterfinal matchup in 2002, other quarterfinal meetings in 2004 and 2006, and losing last year's semifinal game. UNLV is 3-4 all-time in the MW Championship game. The Runnin' Rebels own a league-best 23-9 all-time record in the MW Tournament, while New Mexico is 12-11. UNLV split this season’s meetings with the Lobos and lead the overall series by a 29-18 margin.
The MW Tournament has been held in Las Vegas 10 times prior to this year (2000-03, 2007-12) and UNLV has won the title on three of those occasions (2000, 2007, 2008). The Runnin’ Rebels have now advanced to eight MW Tournament championship games (seven in Las Vegas and one in Denver).
UNLV had a 14-game winning streak in the Thomas & Mack Center snapped in its regular-season finale loss to Fresno State last Saturday. The Runnin' Rebels are now 35-3 in the TMC over the last two seasons and had won 16 straight regular-season home games against Mountain West foes before last Saturday's loss.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT - CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 15/14 NEW MEXICO (28-5, 13-3 Mountain West, No. 1 Seed)
UNLV (25-8, 10-6 Mountain West, No. 3 Seed)
DATE: Saturday, March 16, 2013
TIME: 3:10 p.m. PDT
SITE: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas
TV: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Reggie Miller)
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/98.9 FM (Jon Sandler, Robert Smith) / Dial Global Sports, Sirius/XM 91 (Dave Sims, Bill Frieder)
ONLINE: UNLV radio broadcast and Gametracker at UNLVRebels.com (All-Access subscription required for audio at UNLVRebels.com)
CLICK HERE FOR FULL VERSION OF GAME NOTES
The Last Meeting
February 9, 2013
Thomas & Mack Center