Mountain West Tournament: Why Nevada Can Win It All
Nevada is the #1 seed in the Mountain West Tournament and will get everyone’s best shot in Las Vegas. But the Wolf Pack have the talent and toughness to win it all.
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The Nevada Wolf Pack Look To Make A Run in The Mountain West Tournament
The Nevada Wolf Pack will travel south to Las Vegas to play in the 2019 Mountain West tournament. For Nevada, their Mountain West tournament run starts on Thursday at noon as they will face the winner of the Boise State vs Colorado State contest. The Wolf Pack are the top seed in the tournament by virtue of them defeating San Diego State on Saturday night to claim a share of their third straight regular season Mountain West conference championship.
The Wolf Pack come into this 2019 Mountain West Conference tournament with a 28-3 record which is the best record Nevada has had after 31 games in school history. Nevada has won four of their last five games after losing on the road against San Diego State on February 20th and are ranked 14th in the nation. The Wolf Pack are one of the favorites to win the 2019 Mountain West tournament as they look to improve their seeding in the NCAA tournament should they win the Mountain West tournament.
If Nevada were to win the Mountain West tournament, it would be their second Mountain West tournament championship in three seasons. The last time Nevada won the MW Tournament was back in 2017 when they defeated Colorado State 79-71.
The road for Nevada to win the 2019 Mountain West tournament won’t be easy as they will have to defeat some talented teams but Nevada has the talent and the toughness to win the MW tournament.
Here are some keys for Nevada to win the 2019 Mountain West tournament.
The Wolf Pack must get big contributions from their top three players
The top three players I am talking about are Caleb Martin, Cody Martin and Jordan Caroline.
When the Wolf Pack are at their absolute best it is when the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline are playing well. A most recent example would be their performance in the regular season finale against San Diego State.Caleb Martin led the team with 25 points while Caroline tallied another double double as he scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Cody Martin chipped in with 14 points. These three were the driving force behind a convincing, dominating victory over a talented San Diego State team last Saturday
The Wolf Pack are going to need their big three to play at a high level in order to win straight days and win another Mountain West tournament title.
Make their free throws (Especially late in the game)
The Wolf Pack are sixth in the Mountain West in free throw percentage and as a team, they are shooting 71 percent from the charity stripe.
It is a good number but in a one and done scenario like the Mountain West (and the NCAA) tournament where games are going to be close and come down to a few possessions, Nevada has to make good on their free throws at critical times in the game.
Should Nevada be in a close contest in this tournament against teams like Fresno State, San Diego State or Utah State, converting their free throws will be essential for Nevada to advance in this tournament.
Be ready to take everyone’s best shot
Nevada is the number one seed in this tournament and the favorite to win this tournament for second time in three seasons. This means that Nevada is going to get everyone’s best shot in this tournament and that starts with the winner of the Boise State/Colorado State game.
It is important for Nevada to be ready and play at a high level throughout this tournament as there are some talented teams that can knock the Wolf Pack out of this tournament. The Wolf Pack did sweep Fresno State in conference play but in the second game between Nevada and Fresno State, the Bulldogs played a close game before eventually Nevada outlasted Fresno State in Reno.
San Diego State and Nevada split the regular season series and the Wolf Pack did thump the Aztecs three days ago but keep in mind that the Aztecs won three straight against Nevada before Saturday night and SDSU matches up well with Nevada. And there is Utah State, who shared the regular season title with Nevada, that could pose the biggest threat to Nevada’s quest to win the Mountain West tournament title. The Wolf Pack did defeat Utah State in early January but the Aggies defeated the Wolf Pack in Logan nine days ago.
Safe to say the road for Nevada to win the Mountain West tournament is not going to be easy with the likes of SDSU, Utah State and Fresno State possibly knocking Nevada off the MW tournament. But if Nevada can play at high level and stay focused, they could be celebrating another Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas this upcoming Saturday.