Thu, Mar 17, 3:26pm by Kevin Pitstock
Game: UNLV vs. Illinois
Date/Time: Saturday March 19th, 2011 / 12:20pm AEST
In the 8/9 game on Saturday in the Southwest region, the Illinois Fighting Illini will take on the UNLV Running Rebels. This game will be played in Tulsa Oklahoma. The winner will meet with the winner of the Kansas/Boston game, also played in Tulsa. This game features Illinois against one of their former head coaches, in Lon Kruger.
Illinois comes into the game with a 19-13 overall record, and 9-9 in conference play. The Illini were seeded fourth in the Big Ten tournament, but fell in the first round to the Michigan Wolverines. The Illini lost five of their last eight games to finish the season. The Illini have non-conference wins over North Carolina and Gonzaga, and Big Ten wins over Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan.
The Illini were led by point guard Demetri McCamey and his 14.8 points per game and 6.1 assists per game. Illinois is playing in their 29th NCAA tournament. The Illini have been to the Final Four five times in school history, and hold a 38-29 career record in the tournament.
The Running Rebels finished behind Brigham Young and San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference. In fact, out of their 8 losses; 5 have come to those two teams. The other losses on the season for the Running Rebels came at Louisville, to Santa Barbara and with Colorado State.
UNLV saw Tre’Von Willis and Chace Stanback lead the charge offensive, combining for nearly 27 points per game. The Running Rebels are playing in their 18th NCAA tournament, and they hold a 33-16 record. They have reached the Final Four, four times in school history.
Illinois/UNLV Pick and Prediction:
This should be a typical 8/9 game. Both of these teams would love a shot at the Kansas Jayhawks, so expect both teams to play extremely hard. When it comes down to it, Lon Kruger’s team will be more prepared – add that to their overall athleticism, and that is a recipe for a Running Rebels win. We are betting the UNLV Running Rebels over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Our Pick: We are picking the UNLV Running Rebels – 2 over the Illinois Fighting Illini. Bet UNLV now at Sportsbet!
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