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UNLV’s May Madness continues with 31st straight NCAA golf berth

Updated May 4, 2019 - 3:03 pm

On Wednesday, it was announced that the UNLV men’s golf team will play in the NCAA championships as the sixth seed in the Myrtle Beach Regional starting May 13.

This is something you might normally read right over in the sports briefs, because May Madness isn’t nearly as big as March Madness. And because UNLV qualifies for the NCAA golf championships every year.

Which in this case isn’t hyperbole.

This will be the Rebels’ 31st consecutive appearance in the NCAA regionals, which is a national record.

It’s one more time in a row than Kansas has qualified for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. And seven more than Duke, nine more than Michigan State and 10 more than Gonzaga.

“It is always great to go to the national championship,” UNLV coach Dwaine Knight said after the Rebels learned they would be playing at TPC Myrtle Beach in South Carolina during a Golf Channel selection show watch party at Spanish Trail Country Club. “That is how we have built our program, to try to win national championships.”

The Rebels have won one national title and five regionals under Knight, and all of those 31 consecutive NCAA appearances have come under his watch.

He’s the Bill Self of college golf, except that his program is not under NCAA investigation for potential rules violations.

‘Hey, Steve, it’s Chucky’

Hours before the Arizona Cardinals were to select first in the NFL draft, general manager Steve Keim received a call from Raiders coach Jon Gruden proposing some trades.

Actually, it was a guy who sounded like Gruden. A lot like Gruden. And also sounded a lot like NFL reporters Jay Glazer, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter in previous calls.

It was comedian-impersonator Frank Caliendo, a friend of Keim’s. Keim went on Dan Patrick’s radio show to confirm how he almost had been had.

If Caliendo does an impression of Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, that also could explain why New York selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick.

Bo (still) knows Kruger

New UNLV assistant basketball coach Kevin Kruger listed five facts you might not have known about him in a short video on the men’s basketball Twitter account.

No. 1 was that he was one of the first graduate transfers, from Arizona State to UNLV; No. 2, that he is a dog lover; No. 3, that one of his dogs is named after Wynn Las Vegas (no, it’s not called Free Parking); No. 4, that he met his wife, Allison, 23 years ago in Champaign, Illinois; No. 5, that they are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

If he had included a No. 6, it might have been that former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan is still griping about No. 1.

The NCAA loophole allowing Kruger to play for his father, Lon, was practically all Ryan talked about (read: complain) after Kevin Kruger led the Rebels to an upset victory over the second-seeded Badgers in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tourament.

Going, going, Gaughan

The little NASCAR team for which Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas still drives a couple of times a year calls the races at Talladega Superspeedway a “true test of David vs. Goliath.”

David didn’t win the Geico 500. But his NASCAR alter ego Gaughan and the Beard Oil Motorsports team finished eighth, which was almost like a win for a group with limited resources. The Beard Oil team only competes on the big tracks at Daytona and Talladega, where the rules give the little guys a fighting chance.

“It’s really not as easy as Brendan Gaughan makes it look,” wrote NASCAR pit road reporter Vince Welch on his Twitter account. “Dude just shows up and puts it in the Top 10. Crazy.”


Count Aviators broadcaster Jerry Reuss among those impressed and intrigued by artist Luis Varela-Rico’s sculpture of a 15-foot hand gripping a baseball that will serve as the distinguishing feature of the Desert Diamonds Baseball Complex adjacent to Mountain’s Edge Regional Park.

“That’s an outstanding work of art,” said the big left-hander, who won 220 games during a major league career spanning 22 seasons and four decades.

“I’d have one in our backyard if the HOA allowed it.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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