Preview: UNC vs. UNLV

UNC tips-off against UNLV in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational tonight.

The Running Rebels beat the real USC (Southern California) to advance to the final while UNC manhandled the fake USC (South Carolina). Even though the game will be at Orleans Arena, UNLV does have the hometown advantage. UNC did show up with 3,000 fans though, almost half the arena’s capacity, and has more experience in the Invitational. UNC won the invitational in 2007 and is 7-0 in LVI games. This is UNLV’s first invitational.

  • UNLV has a scary good prospect in sophomore Mike Moser. The 6’8″ forward pulls down 13 rebounds a game and snatches more than three steals per game. The UCLA transfer also scores 15 points per game, good for best on the team.
  • The Running Rebels have three other players averaging double figures. As a team they have put up 80.3. Respectable, but it’s not 89.6. That, of course, is UNC’s scoring average.
  • UNC also leads UNLV in assists per game (duh), rebounds per game and field goal percentage.
  • Not that UNC’s early season schedule has been anything of great difficulty, but out of UNLV’s 6-0 start, it’s best win is against 3-3 Nevada, which lost to Missouri State early on. Other wins for UNLV include beating 0-6 Morgan State and 3-2 Cal Poly. One of Cal Poly’s wins was a 42-36 barnburner against USC (UNLV’s Friday night opponent).
UNC should find itself with its second trophy of the year after tonight’s game. Moser will pose a problem, but UNC’s bigs should get the better of that match-up.
Prediction: UNC 90, UNLV 72