College Basketball

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UNLV (20-12) vs. (8) San Diego State (28-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Thomas & Mack Center (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: UNLV 11-7, SDSU 15-1. Away Record: UNLV 6-5, SDSU 9-2. Neutral Record: UNLV 3-0, SDSU 4-0. Conference Record: UNLV 10-8, SDSU 16-2. Series Record: UNLV leads, 35-23.

GAME NOTES: The UNLV Runnin' Rebels head to the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament in their own building, the Thomas & Mack Center, on Friday night yet they are not considered the home team as they clash with eighth-ranked San Diego State.

Seeded fourth in the tournament, the Runnin' Rebels would like to get back to the championship round for the second year in a row and make up for a lost opportunity in 2013 when they bowed to New Mexico, 63-56. Owners of three championships, UNLV managed to take down a pesky Wyoming squad on Thursday afternoon in a 71-67 final.

While the Runnin' Rebels were going do to the wire against the Cowboys, top-seeded San Diego State was making it look far too easy as it demolished Utah State in the quarterfinals, 73-39. The victory was the fifth straight for the Aztecs and marked the fourth time this season that they've held an opponent to less than 40 points.

San Diego State has won this event a total of four times, the most recent title being claimed three years ago with a 72-54 victory over BYU. A year earlier these teams met in the finals, with the Aztecs grabbing a 55-45 win.

In terms of the all-time series between the programs, the Runnin' Rebels are ahead by a count of 35-23, even though SDSU swept the season series for the fourth time this year. The Aztecs logged a 63-52 win at home at Viejas Arena in January and then posted a 73-64 win here at the Thomas & Mack just nine days ago.

The winner of this meeting will go up against the survivor of the Boise State/New Mexico battle in the title game on Saturday for the right to represent the MWC in the NCAA Tournament.

The Rebels shot only 35.5 percent from the field in the first half against a Wyoming squad that has been playing without its best player for several weeks now, but in the end the hometown favorite turned it around in order to grab the win. Bryce Dejean-Jones came off the bench for a change, following a suspension, to tally 22 points, while Roscoe Smith also appeared as a reserve, yet that didn't stop one of the nation's top rebounders to post 18 points and 13 boards. The only UNLV starter to score in double figures was Deville Smith who tallied 15 points, although Khem Birch, the MWC Defensive Player of the Year, did fill his stat line with eight points, nine rebounds and four assists, not to mention on blocked shot.

To say that the San Diego State meeting with Utah State was one-sided would be an understatement, as the Aztecs scored the first points of the afternoon and never looked back. The squad opened the meeting on an 8-0 run, let 36-15 at the break and by as many as 38 late in the second half, even as the starters took an early seat on the bench. Xavier Thames played on a few minutes in the second half, but still tallied a team-best 15 points and seven assists, while Winston Shepard tacked on 13 points. Josh Davis was responsible for another eight points and 13 rebounds, as well as six steals in the lopsided outcome.

One of two players to have started every game for the Aztecs, Thames paces the group with 16.9 ppg, 96 assists and 52 steals, numbers that raised his visibility and earned him MWC Player of the Year honors.

The fact that UNLV was far from dominant against an opponent that was shorthanded, says a lot about how prepared the Runnin' Rebels are for this event. By contrast, the Aztecs didn't have any sort of let-down following their epic comeback win against New Mexico in the regular-season finale, which should be reason enough to put your faith in SDSU again tonight.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 74, UNLV 58

03/14 10:39:40 ET

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7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
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IND 103
NYK 82
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MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
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PHI
MIN
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BOS
HOU
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ATL
POR
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CLE
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MIA
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GSW
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PROV 83
DEP 72
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RUTG 51
MSU 71
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ARMY 71
BU 67
 
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BRY 68
 
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MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
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LIU 67
CCST 55
 
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TOWS 74
COC 70
 
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UMASS 66
DAY 64
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FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
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RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
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LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
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Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
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STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
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WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
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GMAS 68
STLU 60
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JVU 65
USCU 78
 
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VMI 70
WCU 85
 
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LATU 69
WKENT 56
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UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
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DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
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GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
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TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
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GHND 64
HC 54
 
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CIN 70
UCONN 58
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NDST 61
DEN 54
 
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SD 55
MAST 66
 
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UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
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BEL 103
JVST 82
 
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SMISS 54
MARS 69
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TXSA 69
MTST 58
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PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
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SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
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TENST 64
TENT 56
 
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NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
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SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
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ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
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TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
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TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
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MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
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NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
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MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
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UTEP 71
UAB 69
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GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
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WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
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USC 94
COL 98
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UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
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PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
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SDU 69
SCU 64
 
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UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
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UCLA 69
UTAH 59
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PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
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CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
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GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
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HARV
 
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BRO
 
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PENN
DART
 
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MAR
 
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QUIN
 
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SIENA
 
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WILL
IUPUI
 
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FAIR
MON
 
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OREG
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YALE
 
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KSU
 
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NYI 2
BOS 5
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NYR 0
MON 1
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PHI 5
WIN 2
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TOR 1
ARI 3
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FLA 3
CLB 2
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TAM 5
DET 1
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STL 5
NAS 4
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CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
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NJD
PIT
 
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CAR
STL
 
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COL
NAS
 
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BUF
 
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ANA
CHI