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NCAA Basketball California Golden BearsMarch MadnessMountain West BasketballPac 12 BasketballUNLV Runnin' Rebels

2013 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 5 UNLV vs. No. 12 California

Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

In the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, the 5th-seeded UNLV Runnin’ Rebels take on No. 12 California. This second round contest serves as a rematch from a non-conference bout earlier this season in which UNLV squeaked by the Golden Bears with a 76-75 victory.

In that game, Quintrell Thomas scored on a put back lay-up with 1.2 seconds remaining. That basket served as the game-winning bucket, flipping a one point deficit into a one point victory. So given that knowledge, you can probably anticipate that this game is going to be a battle.

UNLV is the higher seed and the Rebels are being talked about a lot more than California in the contest. In fact, the Golden Bears aren’t gaining much attention in this second round game, but maybe that will serve to their advantage.

What to Watch For

For the Runnin’ Rebels, their keys to victory will reside inside where they certainly hold the advantage on paper. The trio of Anthony Bennett, Mike Moser and Khem Birch needs to dominate inside so UNLV can gain some stability against the Golden Bears. On the perimeter, Anthony Marshall will look to continue his usual production. Marshall is averaging over ten points and just under six assists per game.

As for California, we know who their go-to weapon is. That of course is junior guard Allen Crabbe. In addition to Crabbe, the Golden Bears’ back court also boasts the team’s second leading scorer and leading assist man, Justin Cobbs.

Prediction

UNLV just narrowly escaped Cal earlier in the season, but this time around, the Runnin’ Rebels should learn from their experiences.

UNLV 75 California 61

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS