Nevada men’s and women’s basketball teams know tournament seed, opponent
Nevada’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are locked in their seeds and know their opponents for the upcoming Mountain West tournament.
The Wolf Pack women’s team upset MW’s UNLV regular-season champion on Wednesday night to secure the fourth seed in the tournament, which begins Sunday in Las Vegas for the women’s team. Nevada (19-11, 11-6 MW) earned a bye to the first round of the tournament for the second straight season and will not play until Monday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 5 Air Force (17-12, 11 – 7), which also got a bye.
The Nevada men play their regular season finale on Saturday against San Diego State, but are almost certain to be locked in the No. 8 seed no matter what happens in that game. There is a scenario where Nevada rises to the No. 7 seed (it would play the Air Force in this scenario), but for that to happen the following five things would have to play out: (a) Nevada defeats SDSU; (b) Utah State loses to SJSU; (c) UNLV loses to New Mexico; (d) Fresno State defeats SDSU; and (e) Fresno State defeats Wyoming. These five things do not all happen. As such, Nevada has a 99.9999999% chance of being the No. 8 seed and facing No. 9 New Mexico.
With those games locked down (technically not for the men of the Wolf Pack), here’s a look at the matchups:
No. 4 Nevada vs. No. 5 Air Force (women)
When: Monday, 2:30 p.m.
Short: The Wolf Pack swept the Air Force in the regular season, claiming a 67-52 home win on Dec. 28 in the MW opener and pairing it with a sealed 40-39 road victory on Jan. 24 when Cierra Falcons’ Winters missed a disputed layup as time expired. Riley Snyder (15.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and Winters (11.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.7 spg) lead the Air Force offense, though the Falcons aren’t a good offensive team, shooting 38.1% from the field and 29.1% from three, who rank 10th and 9th, respectively, in the 11-team MW. Nevada has the advantage on offense. Defensively, the two teams are similar, with the Air Force allowing 41.5% shooting (seventh in MW) and Nevada allowing 41.8% shooting (ninth in MW). Air Force creates 20.2 MW in revenue per game; Nevada is second with 17.2. It’s a favorable game for the Wolf Pack (the Falcons are 1-5 against the first four seeds on the court and don’t have much size), although the Air Force has played better these of late, winning four of the five to come. in the tournament. Nevada enters the tournament having beaten the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 seeds on the court, although they have also suffered losses against teams No. 6 (twice), No. 7, No. 9 and No. 10 In the field.
Added plot: air force trainer Chris Gobrecht basically accused Nevada of dodging their second game against the Falcons by using COVID-19 as a shield during a three-game break in January. “Honestly, I think Nevada needs to revisit that because I think they can play us on Sunday,” Gobrecht says Fox 21 in Colorado Springs two months ago. “They need to take another look at it because they had, from what their coach told me, they had six players and they had people in quarantine because of contact tracing. In other words, they are not sick.
Next game: The winner advances to face the winner of No. 1 UNLV against No. 8 Fresno State / No. 9 Utah State on Tuesday
Nevada No. 8 vs. New Mexico No. 9 (men’s)
When: Wednesday, 11 a.m.
Short: The Wolf Pack have only played in New Mexico once this season, and it came back on New Year’s Day, a 79-70 win over the Lobos that saw five Nevada players reach double digits, trailing by Desmond Cambridge Jr.’s 18 points, but on 6 of 20 shooting. This game was one of Nevada’s best defensive efforts in MW play as the Wolf Pack held the Lobos to 35.9% shooting . Nevada fell nine points behind 10 minutes into a 12-2 run. Trailing by a point at halftime, the Wolf Pack edged the Lobos by 10 points in the second half, their lead stretching to 19 points after a 17-2 run. New Mexico has an above-average offense that has been better than Nevada’s offense, but it’s pairing up with one of the worst defenses in the conference as opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field against the Lobos, who are also giving up nearly 20 free throws per game. None of these teams have been good against the top five teams in the conference. Nevada is 0-9 in such games; New Mexico is 1-7, that win ahead of Wyoming. So something big should change if any of these teams were to make a run in the conference tournament..
Added plot: Nevada head coach Steve Alford led New Mexico from 2007 to 2013, winning six MW titles, including two conference tournaments (his final two seasons with the Lobos). Alford was signed by Nevada three seasons ago and has been 5-0 against his former team since then.
Next game: Winner advances to face No. 1 Boise State on Thursday