Nevada will host Houston in CBI
Appeal Sports Writer
Nevada’s basketball season isn’t over yet.
The Wolf Pack, 21-11, was selected to participate in the new College Basketball Invitational, and will host the University of Houston Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center.
The game will be televised on Fox College Sports, according to Rhonda Lundin, Nevada spokesperson.
“We’re excited to be a part of the College Basketball Invitational,” fourth-year Nevada head coach Mark Fox said. “We’re looking forward to playing Houston. They are athletic and talented and extremely well-coached by Coach (Tom) Penders.”
Penders is the former coach at Texas, who has turned the Cougars’ program around. The Cougars went 22-9, including 13-5 in Conference USA.
The Cougars average 78 a game, led by guard Robert McKiver, who averages 23.1 a game. Dion Dowell averages 11.2 points and 6.7 rebounds a game.
Houston allows 70 points a game and is a minus-3 in rebound margin.
Dave Maggard, the UH athletic director, was happy to see the Cougars selected.
“Coach Penders and the players want to play another game, and I support them in their wish to continue playing this season,” Maggard said. “Rick Giles, president of the Gazelle Group, has great credibility in the college basketball world, and we believe this will be a highly regarded tournament in the future.”
Nevada will be making its sixth straight post-season appearance. Nevada played in the NIT and then made four straight NCAA appearances before that streak ended with Friday’s 83-75 loss to New Mexico State in the WAC semifinals.
The NMSU Aggies, who reached the finals of the WAC Tournament, reportedly were invited to the CBI, but McKinley Boston, the Aggies’ athletic director turned the offer down.
Boston told Jason Groves, the beat reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News, that economics played a role in his decision.
The guarantee to host a game was reported to be between $50,000 and 60,000, and it had to paid for up front. Boston told Groves that attendance hadn’t been consistent during the regular season, and the school obviously can ill afford to lose money.
Nevada was snubbed for the 32-team NIT. Utah State got the conference’s automatic bid because it was seeded first for the conference tournament and didn’t advance. Nevada had a better RPI than the Aggies, but Utah State won more games.
Notes: Tickets for Nevada’s game with Houston go on sale at 10 a.m. today at the Wolf Pack Ticket Office at Legacy Hall. Tickets will cost $25, $20 and $18, while student tickets will be $5. Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase their seats until 3 p.m. today while after 3 p.m., all of the seats in the arena will be available to the general public. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Wolf Pack Ticket Office at Legacy Hall at 775-348-PACK (7225) or log on to http://www.nevadawolfpack.com.
HOUSTON (22-9) AT NEVADA (21-11)
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Where: Lawlor Events Center
TV/Radio: Fox Sports/630AM, pre-game at 5:25 p.m.
Prediction: Nevada by 3