The Mountain West men’s basketball tournament championship will be a stand-alone event on Saturday, March 14 at the Thomas & Mack Center. The women’s final was moved up to a day earlier.
There was about a minute remaining in UNLV’s basketball game against San Diego State on Friday evening when Aztecs fans began a popular chant for teams about to win on another’s court.
UNLV’s basketball team might over the next 24 hours be given the opportunity to continue a season that has delivered more disappointments than not, but the Rebels should deny any and all such inquiries.
UNLV’s Khem Birch courageously played through pain and laid it all on the line. But the Rebels went out with a whimper anyway, getting knocked out of the Mountain West tournament Friday night while resembling a dispirited and dysfunctional mess in the process.
In a game during which San Diego State was determined to take away UNLV’s big-man tandem of Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith, the Rebels’ guards had an opportunity to seize the moment and carry the team into the Mountain West tournament championship game. Didn’t happen. Never had a chance.
The origin dates to Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1839. The line was later listed as “The third time is lucky.” UNLV doesn’t need such fortune Friday night. But it better be a whole lot smarter than it was Thursday.
For his participation in Thursday’s Mountain West Tournament, Khem Birch was rewarded with an ice bath and some painkillers. The 6-foot-9-inch UNLV junior forward is fine with that. Because it means he has to prepare to play another basketball game. Rest? That can wait.
A week after being suspended from team, Bryce Dejean-Jones returned to score 22 points off the bench as UNLV held off a late charge to defeat Wyoming 71-67 in a Mountain West tournament quarterfinal at the Thomas & Mack Center.
In a tough spot, it always helps to have experience. Junior forward Roscoe Smith realizes the predicament — and opportunity — in front of UNLV. The Rebels must win three games in three days or there will be no NCAA Tournament trip at the end of a failed season.
A movie once was made on the idea that a mirror has two faces, that the relationship between mind and body can take different forms, that what we see on the outside might not necessarily be a person’s true character.