UNLV basketball:

Rebels to face Air Force on Wednesday in Mountain West tournament

Colorado State seized the 2 seed UNLV could have had while Boise State and San Diego State prepare for a rematch in 4-5 game

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV fans hold up giant cutouts of senior players Anthony Marshall, Justin Hawkins and Quintrell Thomas before their game against Fresno State on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Down to its last day, the Mountain West regular season was full of surprises. From Air Force’s late-game heroics against New Mexico to UNLV’s late-game absence against Fresno State, the league that’s been full of entertainment this season delivered once more.

Now that the regular season is over we can look ahead to this week’s league tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. Defending champ New Mexico has the 1 seed, the only spot that was solidified before the final day of action. Every other position could have potentially changed; one did with Colorado State moving up to the 2 seed thanks to a win and UNLV’s loss.

With everything set, here’s a quick look at the matchups and how each series went for the teams this season:

PLAY-IN GAME

Tuesday on CBS Sports Network

8 Wyoming vs. 9 UNR, 5 p.m.

Wyoming won both games handily, though UNR could have a cheering advantage. Don’t figure many will attend the Tuesday night game but it’s a far easier trip from Reno than Laramie.

QUARTERFINALS

Wednesday on CBS Sports Network

3 UNLV vs. 6 Air Force, noon

UNLV just needed to win Saturday to get a rematch with Fresno State in the 2-7 game, though after getting swept maybe the Rebels don’t want to see the Bulldogs. Instead they get a Falcons team that knows it can win (and nearly did so in the Mack back in January before falling in overtime). The noon start likely will eliminate much home-court advantage.

2 Colorado State vs. 7 Fresno State, 2:30 p.m.

CSU won both regular-season matchups and comes in having won three of its past four games, all of them against the league’s bottom three teams. The Rams have no trouble handling their business when they’re clearly the better team.

1 New Mexico vs. Play-in Winner, 6:30 p.m.

The Lobos swept both potential opponents and shouldn’t have any trouble until the semifinals, where they may run into a streaking Boise State team (won five of six).

Click to enlarge photo

San Diego State guard Jamaal Franklin celebrates his three-point shot against Colorado State during their Mountain West Conference tournament semifinal game Friday, March 9, 2012 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

4 San Diego State vs. 5 Boise State, 9 p.m.

The Broncos lost by one point on the road and then held off the Aztecs at home Saturday for what should be the victory that gets a fifth Mountain West team into the NCAA Tournament. These teams met in the quarterfinals last season and SDSU’s Jamaal Franklin (right, from last year's semifinal) hit a buzzer-beater to win.

SEMIFINALS

Friday on CBS Sports Network

Winner of UNLV/AFA vs. Winner of CSU/FSU, 6 p.m.

Winner of UNM/Play-in vs. Winner of SDSU/BSU, 8:30 p.m.

FINAL

Saturday at 3 p.m. on CBS

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. No time to fall apart Rebels I already booked my flight and Hotel room.