Rebels shooting for fourth MWC tournament title

UNLV has been the most successful men’s team in the 10 years of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament, winning three titles and playing in the championship game six times.

Part of the reason for the Rebels’ success has been that the tournament has been played in Las Vegas seven of those 10 years, and the Thomas & Mack Center is hosting the event again this year, which some opponents have deemed unfair, most notably New Mexico coach Steve Alford.

UNLV (23-7) is the No. 3 seed in the tournament and opens play March 11 against Utah, which beat the Rebels twice in the regular season. New Mexico and BYU are the top two seeds in the tournament, respectively.

The Rebels already should be part of the NCAA Tournament field heading into the conference tournament, but a victory over the Utes would practically guarantee them an NCAA berth. The MWC tournament champion gains automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament.

UNLV guard Derrick Jasper is expected to return to the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Jan. 26. He could give the Rebels a big lift if healthy.

Tickets for the MWC tournament can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack ticket office, online at or by calling 739-3267. All games will be televised on either The Mtn., CBS College Sports or Versus. Check listings for times and channels.

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