NCAA Baskteball Picks and Tips: California at No 23 UNLV
Friday, December 23, 2011
The last time No. 23 UNLV Rebels was ranked, back in late November, the Rebels responded by losing two games in a four-game stretch to fall out of the top 25. But now, after winning three straight games — including a 64-48 whipping of then-No. 19 Illinois — the Rebels are back in the top 25 and will try to stay there.
The Rebels will host California Golden Bears Friday at the Thomas and Mack Center, which should be a difficult test. The Bears enter on a four-game win streak and haven’t lost since falling 64-63 at San Diego State on Dec. 4. UNLV leads the all-time series 3-1.
California Golden Bears (10-2): Although California is off to a fast start this season, all 10 of its wins have come at home or on a neutral floor. As a result, there are still plenty of questions surrounding the Bears, who lost 92-53 to Missouri earlier this year. UNLV, much like Missouri, likes to play an up-tempo style, so it will be interesting to see if the Bears are able to make any adjustments. California has won all four of its games by 20 or more points during this most recent streak. In Monday’s 70-50 victory over UC Santa Barbara, Justin Cobbs led the way with a season-high 25 points.
UNLV Rebels (12-2): In the win against Illinois, UNLV’s star forward Chace Stanback was limited to two points, both of which came on a pair of late free throws. But Stanback came out firing in the Rebels’ 81-63 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Monday. Stanback, a senior, converted 8-of-9 3-point attempts and finished with a career-high 29 points for the Rebels, who are 7-0 at Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV made 14-of-23 3-pointers in the game, the fifth time it has converted 10 or more 3’s. Defensively, the Rebels turned in one of their best performances of the season, blocking seven shots and forcing Monroe into 18 turnovers.
California won the last meeting 73-55 at
UNLV in 2008.
2. UNLV has held three of its last five opponents to 54 points or less.
3. The Rebels are 3-0 against teams from BCS conferences.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Rebels 71, Golden Bears 64
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