Saturday’s college basketball action saw a bunch of bubble teams win. It was also a day in which many teams played their final regular season game of the year. For the UNLV Rebels, Saturday was a day they need to forget about as quickly as possible.
UNLV ended up losing to a bad Fresno State Bulldogs team. It happens, every once in awhile a bad team sometimes beats a team they aren’t supposed to. It usually isn’t the end of the good team’s world as we know it. However, being that this was the last game of the season before the postseason kicks off for the Rebels, they need to get past the loss quicker than a dress falls off a lady on prom night.
It will only be four days after the loss that UNLV will have to lace up the sneakers again. This time it will be against the Air Force Falcons. Let us not kid ourselves, Air Force is a much better team than Fresno State. And even though the Rebels have certainly already punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament, they still need to play for a quality seed in the big dance.
A program like the Rebels — as in not a “name” one — could get moved across the country if they were to lose early-on in their conference tournament. While most of us who follow hoops enjoyed the MWC this season, nationally they don’t travel as well as some other schools. So if they were to falter early in the conference tourney, get shipped to the east coast, UNLV will be playing in the NCAA Tournament behind the eight ball.
The Madness of March can be a tricky disease. Even getting into the dance doesn’t mean your season is a success. UNLV has to everything in their powers to make the Selection Committee’s job of seeding them as difficult as possible.
Playing as close to home for the Rebels might be more paramount to their postseason success than who they match-up with.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone