Breaking down the UNLV basketball team’s Mountain West tournament first-round game against Air Force at 1:30 p.m. today at the Thomas & Mack Center:
If Jerome Seagears returns, that would be a huge boost to UNLV. But the Rebels should have the advantage with players such as Patrick McCaw, Ike Nwamu and Jordan Cornish. Should. Air Force’s starting guards combined to score 57 points in the Falcons’ 79-74 victory on Feb. 16. UNLV can’t let them play like that again.
Stephen Zimmerman Jr. wasn’t on the floor in that February meeting because of a sprained left knee. It was a major loss for UNLV, which was outrebounded 40-33. Air Force doesn’t have anyone who can match up with Zimmerman.
The Rebels had five available scholarship players on Saturday at San Diego State, and that number might get up to six or seven today. Still not great, though. The Falcons aren’t exceptionally deep, either, but hard to give UNLV the advantage in this category.
Edge: Air Force
Air Force took the humiliation of a 36-point loss in January and used that to fuel its upset victory a month later. Now it’s UNLV’s turn to do the same.
Betting line: UNLV -10½
Contact Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65