2013-14 Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Announced|
July 2, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Athletics has announced opponents and dates for the non-conference portion of its 2013-14 men's basketball season schedule.
With 11 teams as Mountain West members for the upcoming season, UNLV will play 18 conference games, reducing its number of non-conference games to 13 (last season it played 15 non-conference games). The Mountain West is coming off a record five teams earning invitations to the NCAA Tournament this past season.
The schedule is highlighted by home games against Illinois and Arizona State, playing in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena and a road game at Arizona.
"We have again put together a schedule that will challenge our team and prepare us for an extremely competitive conference," said head coach Dave Rice.
UNLV will play two exhibition games to start the year - both NCAA Division II Tournament qualifiers last season - Dixie State on Friday, Nov. 1, and Adams State on Tuesday, Nov. 5, both at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Runnin' Rebels' regular season will begin on Friday, Nov. 8 against Portland State, which will begin a season-opening six-game regular-season homestand.
UNLV will then host UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and Nebraska-Omaha on Sat., Nov. 16, before welcoming Pac-12 Conference member Arizona State on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The Sun Devils, who last played UNLV in the 2005 NIT at the Thomas & Mack Center, were 22-13 overall and 9-9 in conference play last year advancing to the second round of the NIT.
A week later, on Tuesday, Nov. 26, Illinois will visit the Thomas & Mack Center. The Fighting Illini were 23-13 overall last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's third round. The Runnin' Rebels will close out their season-opening homestand on Saturday, Nov. 30 against Tennessee-Martin.
UNLV will play its first road game on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Arizona. The Wildcats went 27-8 overall and tied for second in the Pac-12 last season with a 12-6 league mark before advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. UNLV holds an 11-6 all-time record against Arizona. The last meeting between the two schools was in 2009, which concluded a four-year series.
UNLV will play a second-straight road game on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Southern Utah before starting play in the Las Vegas Classic at the Thomas & Mack Center. Those preliminary round games will be against Radford on Wed., Dec. 18, and Sacred Heart on Friday, Dec. 20.
Las Vegas Classic play then shifts down the street to the Orleans Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22 and Monday, Dec. 23. UNLV's opponent for Dec. 22 is Santa Clara from the West Coast Conference and then on Dec. 23 it will face either Mississippi State from the Southeastern Conference or South Florida, formerly of the Big East Conference (now named American Athletic Conference). Santa Clara was 26-12 overall last season and won the College Basketball Invitational title.
The Runnin' Rebels will close out their non-conference schedule at home against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Dec. 28.
All game times and television appearances, along with UNLV's Mountain West schedule will be announced at a later date.
The Runnin' Rebels played in their fourth straight NCAA Tournament this past season and their sixth in the last seven years. Only 12 programs nationally have matched that and it is tops in the Mountain West over that span.
Rice led UNLV to another 25-win season in 2012-13 and the 51 wins by the program over the last two seasons is the most ever by a UNLV coach after his first two years leading the program (Jerry Tarkanian had 44 wins in his first two years).
UNLV, which won four games over ranked teams last year and ranked in the top-10 nationally in assists, rebounding and blocks, returns two starters and six players overall from that team. Three additional players redshirted last year and five newcomers will be welcomed for 2013-14.
For information on purchasing season tickets in the lower plaza level, contact the Rebel Athletic Fund at 702-895-1533. For information on all other tickets, call 702-739-FANS or visit UNLVtickets.com.