bleedCrimson.net Men's Basketball WAC Tournament Championship Preview

The semifinal games on Friday were polar opposites. In the first semifinal the top seeded Utah State Aggies annihilated a depleted Louisiana Tech team winning 85-55. Louisiana Tech lost big man Magnum Rolle inside the first couple minutes of the game to an injured ankle. From there on out it was all Utah State as the Aggies held a comfortable 46-24 halftime lead. The big cushion allowed USU head coach Stew Morrill to rest his players as only Tyler Newbold played more than 30 minutes (31) while the rest of the starters played no more than 25 minutes each. Utah State shot 58.8 percent for the game and hit 11-of-22 three point attempts en route to the championship game.

The second semifinal was a semifinal game for the ages. Nevada jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead which would be their largest of the game. The Aggies answered and led by two, 42-40 at halftime. In the second half the Aggies opened up an eight point lead with just over 13 minutes left to play but five quick points from Nevada coming off an and-one and a technical foul put the Wolf Pack right back in it and the game was tight the rest of the way. The two teams traded the lead six times in the final three and a half minutes and there were two ties and five lead changes in the final 1:43 which was capped off by a Jahmar Young jumper from 15 feet out with 3.8 seconds left to win the game.

Championship Game

Game 7 - #1 Utah State vs. #3 New Mexico State
The two best teams in the league will battle for the conference's automatic bid. These two teams met exactly one week ago in Logan with Utah State using a big second half to crush New Mexico State. The southern Aggies no doubt have revenge on their minds. The two teams split the regular season meetings with each team winning on their home court. NM State won 55-52 in Las Cruces to open conference play while Utah State won the aforementioned battle last week 81-63. It's the rubber match between these two teams and the stake couldn't be any higher.

The NMAgs and UtAgs are no strangers to each other in title games either as the two met three years ago in Las Cruces in an epic championship game that saw NM State hang on for a two point victory.

There will be plenty of matchups to watch, the Aggie posts versus Utah State's Tai Wesley. The Utah State guards versus the dynamic duo of Jonathan Gibson and Jahmar Young. The game also features two contrasting styles in the precisely run halfcourt offense of Utah State versus the up-tempo temp run and gun style of New Mexico State. Whichever team can impose their style on the other will likely come out the victory. It promises to be another epic WAC championship game between these two schools. One thing is for certain. The Aggies will win.

Tonight's game will be televised on ESPN2 and is set for a 9:00 p.m. MT tip.