The irony in all of this is that I doubt there will be much running tonight at the Thomas and Mack Center. Neither team is known for their offense - though I guess the Runnin' Rebels are a bit more explosive than the Runnin' Utes.
But this could be a good game. Maybe. If Utah shows up, which they didn't do against New Mexico on the road earlier this week.
What I do know is that UNLV is their typical efficient selves. They're 14-3 overall and spent some time ranked this season. Their lone conference loss came on the road against BYU - a game they choked away. They're typically dominant at home, though they did manage to lose to Kansas State (who's actually pretty decent this season) there.
But these are the same Rebels we've seen the last few seasons. They're not scary good. They might not win the conference. But they'll still win a lot of games and maybe make some noise in the tournament if they get there. That's the Lon Kruger way. He's established a winner out in the Desert of Sin and because of this, victory could be difficult for Utah.
Especially with the fact they still haven't found consistency. Even worse news is that the Utes will still be without Jay Watkins, though Kim Tillie may play. I think. I really don't know. It depends.
Fortunately, no one expects Utah to win. With their road play, why would they? Unfortunately, it means they'll start conference play 1-2 with a loss. Fortunately, again, once this game wraps up the Utes will have already played two of their toughest road games.
Here's to a close and contested game. Better yet, here's to a Utah win.