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Friday, March 12, 2010
Preview: Mountain West semis

By Diamond Leung

LAS VEGAS -- Big night here at the Thomas & Mack Center, where the top four seeds will go at it.

Game 1: No. 1 New Mexico vs. No. 4 San Diego State

A San Diego State win would do wonders for the Aztecs' NCAA tournament hopes, and they have had good success against New Mexico. They won by 10 in San Diego and then took the Lobos to overtime at The Pit before falling. New Mexico, after losing that game in January, dropped a second straight game to UNLV, but since then have won 15 in a row. Darington Hobson had a huge game against the Aztecs in New Mexico's win and his play during Thursday's quarterfinal win against Air Force was befitting of a conference player of the year. Picking up win No. 30 for the Steve Alford's Lobos, who have plenty of fans in town, would add another quality win to their résumé for seeding purposes.

Game 2: No. 2 BYU vs. No. 3 UNLV

Jimmer Fredette might have scored 45 points in a quarterfinal win Thursday night against TCU, but his point totals against UNLV this season haven't necessarily decided the outcome. Battling health issues, he scored only seven in a win against UNLV at home and 21 in a loss on the road. Home-court advantage will help the Rebels, who are hoping for another big game out of Tre'Von Willis after he scored a career-high 33 in that win against BYU. Even in the loss, he had 24. It should be a good battle between the two. BYU guard Tyler Haws will be a game-time decision after missing shootaround to see a doctor about the swelling from being poked in the eye.