What you are witnessing is Dave Rice’s prophecy coming true, and within it will be these sorts of close losses to an experienced team. But as the games and weeks and possessions pass, UNLV basketball improves.
Say what you want about those tools used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee when determining at-large berths each March, the opinion about a Mountain West ranked 11th among conferences nationally in RPI today is fairly consistent.
You don’t get more local than Little League. Mountain Ridge united the community as few teams have, a group of 14 players who became the first team in Nevada history to make the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Columnist Ed Graney has their story at the top of his 2014 list.
Immediately after beating Arizona, Rebels coach Dave Rice looked ahead to Saturday’s game and called it “the biggest of the season.” In college basketball, there is no such thing as a night off any more.
As a 10 year old, Brandon Marshall saw abuse first-hand and escaped with his mother and brother to a Las Vegas shelter. Now, the Denver Broncos linebacker wants to use his voice to speak out against domestic violence.
UNLV beat No. 3 Arizona at the Thomas & Mack Center by playing with a level of emotion and desire not seen yet this season. For once, Rice can say it following a win and the notion more than holds up. UNLV beat a terrific team.
Colorado State on Saturday afternoon proved that Mountain West football this season was arguably its worst since the league formed in 1999, falling to Utah 45-10 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Much depends on how Boise State fares against Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.
The Utes have discovered the benefits of playing in a power conference after jumping from the Mountain West to the Pac-12. “When recruits walk into our building, they know we mean business and that we’re in this to win,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.
Lon Kruger left UNLV to coach Oklahoma after returning the Rebels to respectability with a 161–71 record and four NCAA tourney appearances in seven seasons. His 15th ranked Sooners meet No. 16 Washington in the MGM Grand Showcase on Saturday.
UNLV’s overtime win against Portland on Wednesday night was important for one reason: The alternative would have been dreadful.