Colorado State (20-7) vs. SMU (17-9), 3:30 p.m. - This is a rematch of last year's first-round game at Las Vegas, in which the 5th-seeded Mustangs upset the Rams 93-89. CSU is one of the NCAA "bubble" teams, so a win is a must. Stew Morrill's team has a balanced lineup led by guard Jameel Mahmud. SMU counters with an underrated squad led by center Jay Poerner, one of the best all-around players in the league. The winner plays 26-4 TCU.
Wyoming (19-7) vs. San Diego State (12-14), 7 p.m. - The Cowboys may be the surprise team in the WAC under first-year coach Larry Shyatt. They seem to have little else besides seniors Jeron Roberts and Gregg Sawyer, but are on the verge of an NCAA berth with a victory or two in the tournament. The Aztecs have never been much better than a .500 team under fourth-year coach Fred Trenkle. Led by senior guard Jason Richey, the Aztecs are coming off a loss to lowly San Jose State Saturday. The winner faces Fresno State.Hawaii (19-7) vs. UNLV (16-12), 9:30 p.m. - This is the marquee matchup of the opening day. The Rainbows have rebounded from a midseason slump with some impressive wins, including a 92-78 victory at Fresno Saturday. In Alika Smith (18.3 ppg) and Anthony Carter (17.3 ppg), they have one of the best guardlines in the country. The Rebels have been playing better as a team since coach Bill Bayno juggled his lineup and the home-court advantage can't be discounted. The winner must face three-time defending champ Utah.