RTC Live: Mountain West SemifinalsPosted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2011
Games #202-203. It’s a blockbuster Friday night in Las Vegas as four very good teams battle for NCAA inclusion and positioning.
9 pm. New Mexico vs. BYU. Friday night in Vegas feature two good looking matchups in the semifinals. Last year’s first semifinal game in the MWC featured New Mexico and San Diego State, and there are quite a few parallels that can be drawn from that game to this year’s first semifinal between New Mexico and BYU. Last year SDSU entered the tournament as a #4 seed that needed to do some work in order to assure themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament, while New Mexico was the conference regular season champion who still had their doubters. This year New Mexico takes on the underdog role, having come into the tourney as a #5 seed and likely needing to win the tournament, as the Aztecs did last year, in order to ensure themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, BYU is taking on the role of the #1 seed that still needs to prove itself, especially in the wake of the loss of Brandon Davies. Last year the underdog sprung the upset and went on to win the conference title and automatic bid. Can New Mexico reprise SDSU’s performance from last year?
11:30 pm. UNLV vs. San Diego State. In the nightcap, UNLV and San Diego State will square off with the Rebels looking to avenge last season’s loss in the conference championship game. In fact, the Rebs have lost four straight to the Aztecs, including two six-point losses this season. UNLV has been on fire from deep lately, knocking down 49.4% of their threes over the last five games, but the Aztecs have been excellent defending the three, holding opponents to 30.7% on the season. In fact, UNLV has made just two of their 33 attempts from behind the arc against SDSU this season, an amazing statistic. Not only will the Rebels have to improve their accuracy from deep, they’ll need to get good production from their three-headed center of Quintrell Thomas, Brice Massamba and Carlos Lopez against the tough Aztec front line.