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.
Every five years when UNLV fires its football coach there is a great whoop-de-doo and la-di-da about football. It usually lasts until the UNLV basketball team plays a quality nonconference opponent. Is there a program out there UNLV ought to be imitating?
The UNLV basketball team got a heavy dose of perspective Thursday morning at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Just 12 hours after holding off stubborn Portland of the West Coast Conference at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Rebels dropped in on pediatric and intensive care wards and put smiles on young faces.
UNLV’s overtime win against Portland on Wednesday night was important for one reason: The alternative would have been dreadful.
Sometimes late at night Bobby Florence will stop by the main gaming floor at the Gold Coast where people are wagering money on a new baccarat game called Rabbit’s Play. He’ll get a little twinkle in his eye, as he did when he scored 35 points in one half against Saint Mary’s 40 years ago.
The question everyone wanted answered went unanswered at UNLV’s press conference on Thursday afternoon. And that was disappointing.
By now you probably are familiar with Notre Dame having hired a wildly successful high school coach named Gerry Faust to wake up the echoes. But there’s an even bolder experiment that better correlates to UNLV that was conducted in North Texas.