UNLV To Celebrate 1987 Final Four Team Saturday
Feb. 9, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Athletics has announced it will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1986-87 men's basketball Final Four team at halftime of this Saturday's 1 p.m. game between the No. 14/16 Runnin' Rebels and No. 13/14 San Diego State at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Several players from the squad - including key starters Freddie Banks and Mark Wade - are scheduled to be on hand for the presentation, which will feature a video and a brief on-court presentation at halftime. Family members of the late Armon Gilliam, including his mother, are also scheduled to be present for the event.
The 1986-87 edition of Runnin' Rebel basketball (37-2) was a special one as it became the first UNLV team to end the regular season as the nation's top-ranked team. It ended the regular season with just one loss (a controversial one-point loss at Oklahoma) and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the West Region. After breezing through the first three rounds, UNLV had to overcome an 18-point deficit to beat a scrappy Iowa squad, 84-81, to advance to the program's second Final Four (first was in 1977). At the Superdome in New Orleans, Banks connected on a tournament-record 10 three-pointers, however, the Runnin' Rebels fell to eventual champion Indiana, 97-93, in the national semifinals.
The squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
"A lot of people obviously remember the national championship team of 1990 and the Final Four team of 1991, but the 1986-87 squad was a special team that helped to propel our program to being the elite program in college basketball at that time," said UNLV's Deputy Director of Athletics Jerry Koloskie, who was an athletic trainer with the team. "This team holds a special place in the heart of many Runnin' Rebel fans."
The team will also gather together for a private brunch event earlier that day.