The UNLV women’s basketball team will face a Final Four participant this year for the first time since the 2004-05 season opener.
The Rebels will play Oregon State on the first day of the inaugural Play4Kay Tournament, which will be held Dec. 19-21 in T-Mobile Arena. The event will be the first women’s basketball games held in the stadium.
UNLV will play the Beavers, who lost to NCAA Champion Connecticut to complete a 32-5 season last year, at 8 p.m. on Dec. 19.
The three-day event supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, an organization that supports funding for women’s cancer research.
“To me it’s probably one of the better tournaments in the nation this year and we’re playing for a great cause as well,” UNLV Head Coach Kathy Olivier said. “How nice is it to be play this event in Las Vegas so that our local community can have the opportunity to watch this event, while we are also looking forward to playing in an outstanding basketball arena in the T-Mobile Arena. This tournament is a chance to play against great competition and gives us the chance to challenge some of the top teams in the nation.”
After playing Oregon State, the Rebels will face either Quinnipiac or New Mexico State on Dec. 20, with the consolation games starting at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and the semifinals starting at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Game times for day three will be at 12:30 p.m. (7th place game), 3 p.m. (5th place game), 5:30 p.m. (3rd place game) and at 8 p.m. (championship).
The eight-team tournament field includes four NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, and seven teams that had at least 20 wins last season.
The last time UNLV played a defending Final Four team was on Nov. 14, 2004, a 77-68 loss to Minnesota in the WBCA/BTI Classic in Seattle.
The Rebels, who went 18-4 (9-9 Mountain West) last year, begin their season against Concordia (Calif.) on Nov. 11 at Thomas & Mack Center at 4 p.m.