In one night, one terrific November night with a nation of college basketball fans watching against an opponent littered with future NBA players, Mike Moser became the hot new restaurant in town, the small-budget movie turned blockbuster, the chic clothing line new to stores.
UNLV needs to match No. 19 Illinois at the guard spot to have any chance today at the United Center, which means Oscar Bellfield needs to play well, which is hardly a given.
So now that UNLV’s basketball team has survived being swept away in a Siberian river, and frostbite in Alaska, and that pack of feral dogs in Tibet, or whatever laborious journey many ridiculously defined as six games away from the Thomas & Mack Center, the Rebels can focus on a more important task.
It was good of UNLV’s basketball team to make the trip, to travel the 1,700 or so miles into the freezer box that is this city during the holidays, to show up at the Kohl Center on Saturday and offer 343 other Division I-A basketball teams a perfect blueprint of how not to have a prayer against Wisconsin.
It will not amass the same level of national attention as knocking off North Carolina, nor receive the same ESPN lovefest as taking down a No. 1, nor hold the same perceived importance when March arrives and NCAA Tournament resumes are being debated.
It was his first start as a Division I basketball player. Justin Hawkins, who hadn’t scored more than 13 points or played more than 29 minutes in a game over his first two seasons, went for 25 points in 38 minutes Nov. 11 against Grand Canyon.