New Mexico battles UNLV for MWC title
No. 1 New Mexico will be looking for its second straight Mountain West Tournament Championship, but it will have to beat No. 3 UNLV on its home court to get it. New Mexico advanced into the championship game with a 60-50 win over No. 4 San Diego State while UNLV also stayed hot with a 75-65 win over No. 2 Colorado State.
New Mexico is 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four games against UNLV. UNLV returns to the Mountain West Championship Game for the first time since 2010, and will be looking for its first tournament championship since winning it back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.
The Lobos will try to spoil to the party on Saturday; they are 17-12-3 ATS against the number this season, while the Rebels are 13-19 ATS. New Mexico is 12-18 on the totals; UNLV is 10-19.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Rebels - Lobos odds would favor the Rebels if the lines were set according to our power ranks. UNLV is rated No. 7 in the current Odds Shark poll, while New Mexico is at No. 31. Mathematical models based on recent stats and predictive formulas point to a 75-73 win for the Rebels.
How They Match Up:
Rebounding is always a key handicapping consideration and Lobos is ranked No. 133 in NCAA hoops at 35.4 per game. Contrast that with UNLV’s No. 6 mark in the paint. When it comes to three-point shooting, UNLV is the No. 136-ranked team in the country at 6.4 per game, while New Mexico rates No. 146 at 6.3 per game.
Defensively, New Mexico features the nation's No. 58-rated defense on the road, allowing 64.5 points per game. UNLV, meanwhile, comes in at No. 78 nationally in scoring at home.
New Mexico was a 60-50 winner in their most recent outing at home against San Diego State. They covered the 2-point spread as favorites. The Lobos grabbed a 60-50 win over the Aztecs on Friday, behind a 17-point effort from Tony Snell at Thomas & Mack Center.
Last time out for UNLV, they were a 75-65 winner as they battled Colorado State at home. They covered in the match as a 4-point favorite. Katin Reinhardt scored 21 points leading the Rebels to a 75-65 victory over Colorado State at Thomas & Mack Center on Friday.