Nevada vs. San Diego State: 2018 Mountain West Tourney Semifinals Preview & Score Prediction
Nevada (27-6, 15-3) vs. San Diego State (20-10, 11-7) Game Preview
Date: Friday, March 9th
Tip-off: 6:00pm PST / 9:00pm EST
Venue: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Radio: ESPN Radio 1100 AM/100.9 FM Las Vegas
TV/stream: CBS Sports Network
PROJECTED nevada LINEUP
G Hallice Cooke
G Kendall Stephens
G Caleb Martin
F Cody Martin
F Jordan Caroline
PROJECTED sdsu LINEUP
G Devin Watson
G Trey Kell
G Matt Mitchell
F Jalen McDaniels
F Malik Pope
WHY nevada WILL WIN
Nevada is your Mountain West regular season conference winner. They were best in conference, currently ranked #22 in the AP Top 25. Nevada is capable of putting up points in a hurry, and that means they can even the score quickly when down. Jordan Caroline is plain dangerous. Caroline if successful getting to the basket early will open up the rest of the floor for three-point assassin Kendall Stephens.
The Wonder Twins (Caleb and Cody Martin) both average double figures in scoring. Caleb is 19 points per game, and Cody is at 14. This duo is super dynamic: we’re talking double-double DOUBLE trouble.
The Pack are down to seven scholarship players now- some of them also nursing wicked injuries. Still, an injured wolf is dangerous if cornered.
Also, head coach Eric Musselman seeks revenge for being cast out of Viejas Arena again with a loss. Viejas remains the only Mountain West arena where Musselman is winless. The Wolfpack also planned to tie San Diego State for the regular conference record of 16-2, but faltered.
WHY THE AZTECS WILL WIN
It’s March, and the Aztecs now actually believe they are the best team in the Mountain West, and they have been playing like it ever since Senior Guard Trey Kell returned to the floor. Kell scored 16 against Fresno State. Malik Pope has also been playing dominant basketball, and has a history of stellar play at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The Aztecs are now playing a different, synergistic brand of basketball enabling them to contain a Bulldogs team that handily swept them in regular conference play. Freshmen Jalen McDaniels, Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel are not playing at all like Freshmen, and are in synch with Seniors Malik Pope, Trey Kell and transfers Devin Watson and 7’1″ Kameron Rooks. We’re seeing the Aztecs we expected at the start of the season, backed up with a solid bench- something the injured Wolfpack does not have.
The Aztecs are riding a high, on full display in yesterday’s win over Fresno State. How much so? Freshman Jalen McDaniels made a statement dunk so hard it actually went through the hoop twice . . .
Nevada- 72, San Diego State- 79