Fresno State is closing in on the No. 7 seed for the MW Championships as the Bulldogs will vie Saturday for a historic win.
March 6, 2013
Fresno State Game Notes
Game 29 Fresno State (10-18, 4-11 MW) at UNLV (23-7, 10-5 MW)
March 9, 2013 3 p.m. PT Las Vegas, Nev. (Thomas & Mack Center)
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Ari Wolfe & Dave Bollwinkel)
Radio: KMJ 580 AM (Paul Loeffler & Randy Rosenbloom)
Series record: UNLV leads 27-7 (overall) and 15-0 (in FS road games)
Last Meeting: FS 64, UNLV 55 - Feb. 6, 2013 (Fresno, Calif. - Save Mart Center)
On Saturday, Fresno State can secure the No. 7 seed and an opening round bye with a win at UNLV or a Colorado State win over Nevada.
This will be Fresno State's 13th game this season against a team that was ranked at some point during the 2012-13 season.
Bulldogs' junior guard Tyler Johnson is averaging a team-best 13.8 points in Mountain West play, and 12.3 points per game for the season.
Fresno State is second in the Mountain West in steals/game (7.4 spg), 3-point field goal defense (29.5%) and total steals (207).
This is the 35th meeting between Fresno State and UNLV.
Inside the Numbers
This season, Fresno State has a +70 (+2.5/gm) steal margin (207-137).
Under Terry, Fresno State has a +168 steal margin (450-282) by averaging 7.4 steals per game and a +2.8 steal edge per contest over 61 games.
This season, Fresno State owns a +79 points off TOs margin (407-328).
Fresno State Visits UNLV in Regular Season Finale
Fresno State (10-18, 4-11 Mountain West) closes out the regular season on the road at UNLV (23-7, 10-5 MW) on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT inside the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (television) and KMJ 580 AM (radio).
'Dogs Close to No. 7 Seed for MW Championships
With the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships less than a week away, the Bulldogs can secure the No. 7 seed on Saturday by either defeating UNLV or if Colorado State defeats Nevada. The top seven seeds begin Quarterfinal play on Wednesday, March 13. The tournament champion receives the league's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
The Last Meeting
February 6, 2013
About the UNLV Runnin' Rebels
UNLV is tied for second in the Mountain West standings with a 10-5 record against MW opponents, including a 7-0 home record in league play.
The Runnin' Rebels currently hold the tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed in the MW Basketball Championships and a win over Fresno State would lock in the No. 2 seed.
UNLV, who is 23-7 on the season and receiving votes in both national polls, is considered a virtual lock for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, if needed. Four Rebels are averaging double digits, led by national Freshman of the Year candidate Anthony Bennett's impressive production of 16.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels
UNLV leads the all-time series with Fresno State 27-7 and the Rebels are unbeaten at 15-0 in home games versus the Bulldogs. Fresno State upset UNLV 64-55 earlier this season when the teams squared off in Fresno at the Save Mart Center. The Rebels have won 20 of the last 22 meetings.
Bulldogs Stun UNLV 64-55 for Big MW Win
Playing against his hometown school, Kevin Olekaibe scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Fresno State men's basketball team to a 64-55 win over UNLV on Feb. 6 at the Save Mart Center. The 55 points were the Rebels' lowest offensive output of the season. A week after hitting six of eight triples at AFA, Olekaibe made four of his seven 3-point attempts.
'Dogs Soar Past Falcons, Win 56-41 in Home Finale
Fresno State wrapped up its 14-game home slate by soaring past the Air Force Falcons 56-41 on March 2. The win was fueled by junior guard Tyler Johnson's game-high 21 points and the Bulldogs' defense that held the Falcons without a field goal for over a 10-minute span in the second half.
Attendance Increases in Terry's Second Year
In the second year of the Rodney Terry era of Bulldog Basketball, attendance at Fresno State men's basketball home games increased by eight percent from year one to year two. The jump is the second-largest single-season increase at the Save Mart Center in the ten years since the arena was built on campus. In total, the Bulldogs hosted 98,592 fans this season.
Terry Turns Up the Pressure, Exploits Takeaways
The relentless defensive pressure that Terry expects from his squad has held opponents to just 41.5 percent shooting (575-of-1386) from the field and 29.5 percent 3-point shooting (124-of-420). Fresno State has forced an average of 13.6 turnovers per game (382 total) and own a +79 points off turnover margin (407-328), as well as a +70 steal margin (207-137).
Bulldogs Play with Aggressive Defensive Tenacity
Fresno State has held opponents to an average of 61.1 points per game, The 'Dogs have limited 21 of their 28 opponents under 70 points and kept opponents under 60 points 13 times, and two opponents under 40 points.
Valuing the Basketball
One of Rodney Terry's points of emphasis is the importance of valuing the basketball. Since Terry's arrival, Fresno State has not committed more turnovers than its opponents in 49 of the 61 games, including 44 of those 61 games where the 'Dogs made fewer turnovers than its opponents.
'Dogs Second MW in Guarding the 3-point Arc
Fresno State is second in the Mountain West and ranks in the Top 30 nationally in 3-point field goal defense by limiting opponents to a 29.5 percent clip from the beyond the 3-point arc this season.
Olekaibe Moving Up the Bulldogs' Record Books
Junior Kevin Olekaibe currently ranks 21st on Fresno State's all-time scoring list with 1,153 career points in 90 games - just 11 points away from tying Kevin Bell for 20th. He also ranks fifth in 3-point field goal attempts (580) and seventh in 3-point field goals made (194). Olekaibe owns the seventh-best career free throw clip (198-248, 79.8%).
Fresno State Picked to Finish Seventh in MW
Fresno State was projected to finish seventh out of nine Mountain West schools, as selected by a voting panel comprised of Conference media, during preseason voting. Defending MW co-regular season champion San Diego State edged UNLV as the Conference media's preseason favorite to win the MW men's basketball regular-season title in 2012-13.
2013 Mountain West Basketball Championships Seeding Scenarios
Fresno State can clinch the No. 7 seed in the Mountain West Basketball Championships and a bye into the Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PT with one of the following scenarios:
1) A Fresno State win over UNLV
2) A Fresno State loss to UNLV -- AND -- a Nevada loss to Colorado State
Fresno State will be the No. 8 seed in the Mountain West Basketball Championships in this scenario and open on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT versus the No. 9 seed:
1) A Fresno State loss to UNLV -- AND -- a Nevada win over Colorado State
2013 Mountain West Championships Tickets on Sale
Single-session tickets for the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Men's and Women's Basketball Championships went on sale Friday, March 1 at Noon PT. Prices for single-session tickets range from $20 to $40 for general admission and reserved seating for all eight sessions of the Championships. To purchase tickets, log on to UNLVTickets.com, call 702-739-3267 or 866-388-3267, or visit any one of the UNLVTickets outlets in Las Vegas. Visitors to Las Vegas may also purchase tickets at the Mountain West Basketball Championships kiosk, located in the baggage claim area of McCarran International Airport.
Championship action tips off Tuesday, March 12 with the men's and women's first-round contests, beginning at 5 p.m. PT at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The 2013 Mountain West Basketball Championships, which will be played March 12-16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, tips off on Tuesday, March 12 with the men's and women's first-round contests featuring the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. The men's quarterfinals will be held on Wednesday, March 13, followed by the women's quarterfinals on Thursday, March 14. Semifinal action will take place on Friday, March 15, with the men's and women's championship games set for Saturday, March 16.
The men's final will be televised on CBS for the first time in Mountain West history. The men's championship game tips off on Saturday, March 16 at 3:05 p.m. PT, followed by the women's final, which will air on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 7:05 p.m. PT.
Bulldogs Begin Mountain West Era
Fresno State is in its first season as a member of the Mountain West, which produced four NCAA Tournament teams last year. The MW features one team ranked in the AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls (regular season MW champion No. 12/11 New Mexico) and three others that are receiving votes in one or both national polls. Five different Mountain West teams have been ranked in at least one national poll this season, marking a first for the Conference. The Mountain West is one of five conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12) to have five or more teams ranked in at least one top-25 poll at some point this season, and one of four (Big East, Big Ten, Big 12) to have 50 percent or more of its teams appear in at least one poll at some point.