NCAA basketball on Wednesday night and we will see the New Mexico Lobos travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to take on the UNLV Runnin Rebels. The game has a start time of 11:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN 2. Vegas odds have the Lobos listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 139.
Analysis: The Lobos come in with a 19-5 mark overall, including a 6-1 mark on the road, while also going 10-2 within the MWC. The Lobos have been very solid on offense this year, averaging 76.8 ppg, to rank 53rd in the nation, while shooting 45.6% from the field, which is 112th in the nation. Cameron Bairstow leads the team in scoring, with a 20.3 ppg average and he is also 2nd on the team in rebounding (7.2) behind Alex Kirk, who has 8.5 boards per game. Kendall Williams (17.2 ppg) and Alex Kirk (14.6 ppg) round out the double digit scorers for the Lobos, On defense the Lobos have been solid as well, allowing just 69.5 ppg on 39.9% shooting, which is 35th in the nation.
The UNLV Runnin Rebels come in at 17-8 overall and they are a solid 8-4 with in the conference, but still this team needs to win the regular season or conference tournament titles in order to get into the big dance. That makes this a huge game for them. The Rebels have won 6 of their last 7 games, but they have struggled some on offense of late, averaging just 64.2 ppg in their last 5 games. Overall the Rebels average a modest 71.2 ppg and are led by Bryce Dejean-Jones, who averages 13.7 ppg. The Rebels have two of the better rebounders in the league in Khem Birch (9.4 rpg) and Roscoe Smith (11.2 rpg). On defense the Rebels have been solid, allowing just 63.7 ppg on 39.3% shooting.
Pick: I like the Under in this game. UNLVV has struggled on offense of late, but their defense has picked up the slack as they have allowed just 59.6 ppg in their last 5 games. New Mexico has also played very good defense of late, allowing just 63.2 ppg in their last 5 games, so both teams come in playing great defense at the moment. New Mexico allows 69.1 ppg on 39.4% shooting on the road, while the Rebels have allowed just 64.2 ppg on 40.6% shooting at home. Just too much defense in this one and that has me expecting no more than 135 points.
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