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.
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.
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.
UNLV’s overtime win against Portland on Wednesday night was important for one reason: The alternative would have been dreadful.
The question everyone wanted answered went unanswered at UNLV’s press conference on Thursday afternoon. And that was disappointing.
What are people so worried about, that he might lose games? The Rebels have been experts at that for decades. Few programs nationally lose with the regularity of UNLV. Here’s a thought: What if Tony Sanchez wins?
This is what they don’t write about in those lavish recruiting profiles. These are the things you don’t hear about when a prep basketball star signs with your favorite college.
Jim Fassel is the experience in this equation. The one whose credentials wouldn’t be scrutinized. His is a name that has been widely associated with the coaching job at UNLV, vacant since Bobby Hauck announced his resignation Friday.
Here’s the key part: No one is denying it.