Rebels open MWC play at home

For the second time in Lon Kruger’s five years as coach, UNLV’s basketball team will open Mountain West Conference play with a home game.

The Rebels begin the conference schedule against New Mexico on Jan. 3 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV’s schedule and most of its game times and television appearances were announced Monday.

The Rebels open the regular season Nov. 15 by hosting San Diego in one of nine nonconference games at the Thomas & Mack.

The 14-game nonconference slate was released June 2.

After the Mountain West opener against the Lobos, UNLV will play at Texas Christian on Jan. 10 and at Colorado State on Jan. 14.

The Rebels also go on the road to play at Brigham Young on either Jan. 20 or 21, New Mexico on Feb. 7, Utah on Feb. 25 and San Diego State on March 7 in the regular-season finale.

UNLV hosts San Diego State on Feb. 3 and Brigham Young on Feb. 21.

The Rebels, Aztecs and Cougars are expected to be the top three teams in the MWC.

UNLV will play on television at least 18 times this season, with 10 appearances on the Mtn., five on CBS College Sports and three on Versus.

The Rebels finished second in the Mountain West last season with a 12-4 mark, and they won the conference tournament for the second consecutive year.

The tournament again will be held at the Thomas & Mack, from March 11-14.

UNLV has a 15-game home win streak. The Rebels had a 38-3 record at home the past two seasons, winning 24 straight games against MWC opponents at the Thomas & Mack.

Kruger, the 2007-08 MWC Coach of the Year, led UNLV to a 27-8 record last season, which ended with a second-round NCAA Tournament loss to eventual national champion Kansas.

The Rebels will play high-profile nonconference home games against California (Nov. 28) and Arizona (Dec. 20).

UNLV has road games against Texas-El Paso (Nov. 24), Fresno State (Dec. 3), UNR (Dec. 6) and Louisville (Dec. 31).

The Big East Conference plans to announce in early September the time and TV arrangement for the Rebels’ game at Louisville.

For UNLV’s complete schedule, including game times and TV, see Scoreboard, Page 8C.

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