UNLV and Colorado State may be headed toward another lopsided Mountain West contest. If the earlier games today are anyindication, the Rebels figure to join Utah and Brigham Young, which posted easy double-digit wins over Air Force and TCU respectively this afternoon.
Everyone is talking revenge inside the Thomas & Mack Center but that should be the least of UNLV’s motivation tonight. At 6-4 in the MWC, the Rebels need to win just to keep pace with Utah, San Diego State and New Mexico, the teams ahead of them in the standings. With just six games left and road games still looming at Wyoming on Wednesday, at Utah on Feb. 25 and at San Diego State on March 7, holding serve at home has never been more important.
In a funk
Colorado State has already improved on last year’s 0-16 performance in conference play but at 3-7, the Rams are still prime candidates to compete in the MWC Tournament play-in game come March 11 at the Thomas & Mack. They’ve dropped four of their last five and have yet to win a league road game this year. They got beat by 34 at BYU on Wednesday and coach Tim Miles should be concerned about where things are at.
Welcome home, guys
Andre McFarland and Harvey Perry Jr. are back in town as the former Las Vegas prep stars are wearing the green and gold of CSU. McFarland, who played at Durango and Perry, who attended Foothill Green Valley and Cheyenne as well as Brewster Academy in New Hampshire (as did McFarland), figure to have a lot of family and friends in the Thomas & Mack tonight.
From a media standpoint, this might be one of the most sparsely covered games of the year. Not only is there no television coverage tonight, neither the Denver paper not the Fort Collins paper sent their CSU writers to Las Vegas. It’s the first time anyone can remember the Front Range newspapers passing on traveling to Vegas. Just shows you how tough times are economically in the newspaper industry.
Piano Man outdraws Rebels?
Driving down Tropicana Avenue with R-J columnist Ed Graney, we hit traffic near the MGM Grand. Graney, as he sometimes tends to be, got a bit annoyed. He demanded to know what where all the cars going at 5:45 p.m. on the road? He was told Billy Joel was playing the Grand Garden Arena tonight. His response was unprintable, even in the blogosphere universe. Suffice to say, he’s not a fan of the Piano Man, who will likely outdraw tonight’s game. With five minutes to go before tipoff, there were thousands of empty seats in the T&M while the Grand Garden was sold out and 16,000-plus were packing the place to hear "Just The Way You Are."
Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, remember? What would you want him to play? Captain Jack?
Speaking of traffic jams, it was two years ago tonight the NBA All-Star Weekend turned the Strip and Tropicana into a parking lot as gridlock prevailed as Gerald Green was beating Nate Robinson to win the Slam Dunk Contest. Maybe Graney needed to be reminded about that night if he’s going to bitch and moan about traffic.
Oh wait, we drove together to the Thomas & Mack that night too and because we got there two hours before the All-Star activities, we didn’t hit any traffic.