Nevada Wolf Pack
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | NEVADA INSIDER
RECORD: 23 - 8 REGION: St. Louis SEED: 10|
COACH: Trent Johnson CONFERENCE: MW
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
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Will lose when ...
Snyder has an off night. The Wolf Pack is balanced, but Nevada won't beat any big boys without its best player flourishing.
Famous Last Words
As the win over Kansas illustrated, the Wolf Pack have the ingredients to be a tough out.
Complete team report
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TO THIS POINT
How They Got Here: WAC champions
Although the only double-digit seed remaining in the tournament -- and with all due respect to UConn, Illinois and Oklahoma State -- Nevada had the most impressive, awe-inspiring win in second round. The Wolf Pack's 19-point pasting of Gonzaga in Seattle was as thorough as it was surprising and pushed the streak of No. 10 seeds reaching the Sweet 16 to eight straight years.
Even more amazing is the fact that from the midway point of the first half of the opening round against Michigan State, where Nevada was down 16, through the win over the Bulldogs, the Wolf Pack is a plus-47 in point differential. Now Trent Johnson's team carries the entire mantle of West Coast basketball into the tournament's second weekend alone.
Nevada will try to become the fourth of those No. 10's (Providence, Gonzaga, and Kent State are the others) to take the next step and reach the Elite Eight when the Wolf Pack and Georgia Tech collide in St. Louis. Having never won an NCAA Tournament game before Thursday, there is no precedent for Nevada in this position. What the Wolf Pack does have is the personnel and confidence to play with the Yellow Jackets.
As long as Kirk Snyder continues to play like a first-round pick, Todd Okeson remains the picture of point guard play (33 points, eight assists, two turnovers in two games) and Garry Hill-Thomas can duplicate the defensive beat down he put on Gonzaga's Blake Stepp then Nevada can go toe-to-toe with Georgia Tech's strength on the perimeter.
That itself would keep the Wolf Pack in position to pull another stunner without even having to play the perfect game that Gonzaga saw on Saturday.
Even before becoming this year's Cinderella, the Wolf Pack gave UConn a tussle in the Preseason NIT and then stunned the nation when it beat a top-10 Kansas club in December. Those who know the WAC knew this Pack was capable of such performances. But a 3-3 start to WAC play kept Nevada among several contenders and not until the final few weeks of the regular season and the conference tournament did the Pack separate itself from, well, the pack. Winning at Toledo on Bracket Buster Saturday was the first of seven straight wins the Pack took into the NCAAs.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Kirk Snyder | G | Junior
There was really no surprise in the WAC Player of the Year voting, as Synder lived up to his preseason expectations. An explosive, versatile wing player who can drive the ball, shoot with range and rebound at both ends of the floor, Synder had 17 games of 20 or more points and a season-high 33 against SMU.