UNLV-Utah: Is The Third Time The Charm For The Rebels?

Brian DaniseContributor IMarch 11, 2010

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 06:  Tre'Von Willis #33 of the UNLV Rebels dribbles the ball in front of head coach Lon Kruger during the game against the Brigham Young University Cougars at the Thomas & Mack Center February 6, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 88-74.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There is an old adage in college hoops that states "it is difficult to defeat a team three times in one year."

The Utes have already beaten the Rebels twice. Once in Salt Lake City, the other in Las Vegas.

I predict that that adage will once again prove true. UNLV will redeem itself on Thursday night.

Here's why. UNLV has been playing some of its best basketball of the season as of late. Offensively, the team has been hitting on all cylinders.

Guard Tre'von Wills has been consistent all year. Forward Chace Stanback has been on fire with his mid-range game and three point shooting. Defensively the Rebels have been handcuffing opponents.

Also, the Utes have recently been bit by the injury bug.

Center David Foster, who had a stellar game against UNLV, and forward Kim Tillie are both nursing ankle injuries.

It will be one and done for the Utes in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

UNLV 74 Utah 59.