Las Vegas can be a dangerous trip for ranked teams. The sights and sound can be enough to distract anyone, much less a group of people in the 18-23 year-old age bracket. But there's also another issue, one that #16 Louisville ran into on Saturday afternoon: there's a pretty good college basketball team in that town. UNLV, expected by many to be a factor in the Mountain West, using a run that covered about a twelve-minute stretch from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second, knocked off the Cardinals 76-71 in front of a frenzied crowd.
The Saturday schedule is lacking in big-time matchups but there are some intriguing games on the slate. La Salle and Villanova face off in a Big 5 game at the Pavilion and Dr. John Gianinni's team has the talent and depth to hang around with the Wildcats. And with it being the Big 5 you never truly know what's going to happen. Louisville had better be on "upset alert" in Sin City; Lon Kruger's Runnin' Rebels are deep with talent and experience, a recipe for consistent success.
Wednesday offered Utah and UNLV the opportunity to knock off in-state rivals (Utah State and Nevada) who will enter their respective conference seasons expected to compete for league titles, and neither disappointed. The Utes were able to capitalize on seventeen Utah State turnovers and a hot-shooting Carlon Brown (sorry for referring to you as Carlton yesterday) to pull out the 68-67 win over the Aggies.
Betting odds are a great guide to college basketball action. Unlike fans, who often ride the wave of media predictions, betting lines tend to be a bit more focused and can give you an objective picture of how teams matchup (though lines too can get caught up in the wave of human emotion).
Wednesday sets up to be a light day in regards to games of national interest but there are two games out west that you should pay attention to. Nevada makes the trek from Reno to Las Vegas, taking on in-state rival UNLV in arguably the game of the night while Utah State visits Utah. A pair of Top 10 teams are in action as well with Texas hosting Western Carolina while Butler visits Northwestern in Evanston.
BYU is the MWC favorite, but the rest of the league is wide-open, as 6 other teams have legitimate hopes of making a deep run in the league tournament.
- Bracketology: Selection Sunday Projection
- Bracketology: Saturday Night NCAA Tournament Projection
- Non-BCS Top 25: Creighton, Colorado St Rise
- College Basketball Top 50: Indiana Ends Regular Season #1
- Non-BCS Top 25: Valpo Replaces BYU
- College Basketball Top 50: Maryland and Iowa St Drop Out
- Non-BCS Top 25: Davidson In, Wyoming Out
- College Basketball Top 50: #2 Gonzaga Hits All-Time High
- Non-BCS Top 25: Air Force, Davidson Making Moves
- College Basketball Top 50: Another Week, Another #1