UNLV Looks To Keep Its 2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Intact Against Colorado St.

Mick Akers@@mickakersAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 19:  Oscar Bellfield #0 of the UNLV Rebels loses the ball as (L-R) Wes Eikmeier #2, Andy Ogide #32 and Dorian Green #22 of the Colorado State Rams defend during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center January 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Unlv Runnin' Rebels look to pad their NCAA tournament resume by getting revenge against the Rams of Colorado State.

Last month, the Rams embarrassed the Rebels on their home court, defeating UNLV 78-63 in what was the Rebels most disappointing effort this season.

The Rebels head into Saturday's game coming off their lowest scoring game of the year, beating Air Force 49-42 in what was one of the ugliest games I have seen in recent memory.

Though the Rebels defense continues to impress, the offensive side for the Rebs has been atrocious.

Besides the thumping UNLV put on TCU three games ago, the Rebels have looked lost at times on the offensive end. With no one wanting to be the go to guy as of late, UNLV needs their leader from last year, Tre'von Willis to step up and guide this years team through the rest of the season.

One key to UNLV's success on Saturday will be stopping Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin. The front court duo who accounted for 42 points and 16 rebounds last game.

If there ever was a game where UNLV could play two of its big men at once, this would be that time.

The Rebels are 0-5 against the top three teams in the Mountain West and losing Saturday not only puts them further behind the Rams in the conference standings, it also makes UNLV 0-6 against the top MWC contenders, something that won't bode well come selection Sunday.


Note: The game against the Rams starts off a crucial two-game road trip for UNLV.

After Saturday's affair, the Rebels will travel to New Mexico to play the Lobos. The Pit in New Mexico is one of the toughest places to play in the NCAA and UNLV looks for similar results to last years meeting where the Rebels came out on top.

UNLV must go 3-1 in their final four games to keep their at-large chances strong.