By Chris Boline

To say that Nevada’s loss to New Mexico was  to be expected is completely untrue.  The Wolf Pack came out firing and were  up by 14 points at one moment against the  Lobos.

The white-out crowd was jazzed up,  and Nevada seemed poised to knock off a top  25 team for the first time this decade.

However, as seems to be the case for the Pack this  season, all good things must come to an end.

Nevada collapsed and fell to the Lobos by the  same margin that it once led by.  With its penultimate home game behind  them and a tough test of contests leading up  to the Mountain West tournament, the Wolf  Pack can improve its seeding, but even more  importantly it can play for pride.

The latter  component will be especially prevalent in the  final game of the season, which will be against  a little team from down south.


Boise State’s record of 19-10, or its conference record of 9-7, might not seem overwhelming, but similar to Utah State, its record  at home is.

The Broncos have won the last four  of their five games, including two one-point  victories over both New Mexico and UNLV.

The big match-up this time around will be  between the six-foot-nine Ryan Watkins  and AJ West. Watkins has been averaging a double-double this season (11.4  ppg and 10.7 rpg), and he was not  far off his average (11 points and 11  rebounds) earlier the season when the  two teams matched up at Lawlor.

However, the premier scoring battle will be  between Derrick Marks and Deonte  Burton.

Marks scored 21 points in the  first game earlier this season, while  Burton was limited to seven points.

If Nevada is going to be successful against the Broncos, then not  only do they need to be able to limit  Marks and Watkins, but also be able  to defend the perimeter against  three-point specialist Anthony  Drmic. Cue Jerry Evans Jr.’s  theme music.


This is what everyone has been  waiting for. The rematch of the  season is upon us, and it may be  blessing for Nevada if it is able to  pull out a victory, although it may be  hard to come by.

While the Rebels haven’t been as  ferocious as they were last year, they  were able to hang with the big dogs of  the Mountain West with wins against  New Mexico, Boise State and Wyoming.

There is a gap between them and the  top two of the Mountain West, but they  have been known to go on runs, as  evidenced by their seven-game winning streak earlier this season.

The key to this game is doing  exactly what Nevada did in its first  meeting against the Rebels. More specifically, Deonte Burton has to score an insane  amount, because another 29-point barrage  would possibly seal a victory if it’s efficient.

However, this might be asking for a lot. Also, if  Cole Huff and West can defend the twin totem  poles of Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith, and  limit them to under their near double-double  season averages, then the Pack might be able  to seize some much-needed momentum going into the conference tournament.

Chris Boline can be reached at