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Rebels' monster first half dooms Cougars

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via <a href="http://dealbreaker.com/2009/11/19/head-in-sand.jpg">dealbreaker.com</a>
via dealbreaker.com

UNLV came into today's game shooting 31.3% from three on the year.  Lon Kruger's best player this season, Tre'von Willis, was averaging 27.2% from deep before Saturday.

UNLV came into the second half shooting 91.3% from three on the year.  Lon Kruger's best player this season, Tre'von Willis, raised his three-point shooting percentage to 97.2% on the season during the first half.

At least that's how it seemed.  Too little, too late for BYU.  Playing the Rebels again come MWC Tournament time just got even more interesting.  Now then...

Of the remaining seven games on the pre-tourney schedule, three are in Provo.  It doesn't matter who the Cougars are playing (AFA, SDSU, UNM) - if BYU can beat UNLV at the Marriott Center they can win all three of those games. That's 25 wins overall.  Furthermore, each of the remaining road games (CSU, Wyoming, Utah and TCU) are very winnable contests, with the Utes likely the most legitimate threat.  That's at least 27 wins before the MWC tourney where they should pick up at least one more win.

28 wins is realistic and would probably allow the Cougars to be seeded between 3 and 5 come mid-March. Only a select few teams will have 28 wins when "Selection Sunday" arrives (and to be less than a 5-seed there would obviously have to be at least 20 teams with 28 wins or higher RPI's or both).  By "select few" I mean less than the 20 it would take to push the Cougars to be a 6-seed or lower.

In short, this ship ain't sunk.

Next: Air Force - Saturday, February 13th

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