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ESPN writer tabs Rebels as the best team in the western part of the country

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Chace Stanback kisses his fingers after draining a three point shot against Central Arkansas during their game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Stanback had 29 points and UNLV scored their most points since the 1990-91 season in beating Central Arkansas 124-75.

In the latest edition of his King's Court column on ESPN.com, ESPN college basketball writer Jason King says that No. 17 UNLV (15-2) is the premier team in the western part of the country.

King writes that the Rebels, who are tied with No. 1 Syracuse for the most victories in the country, stand out in a region that is otherwise struggling for national prominence this season. Here's the excerpt:

Who is the best team from the western part of the country?

"With the Pac-12 struggling and Jimmer Fredette now in the NBA, there aren't many teams turning heads out west. One exception is UNLV, which probably has the best résumé of any Pac-12, Mountain West, Western Athletic or West Coast conference school thus far. Along with dismantling Final Four-favorite North Carolina, the Runnin' Rebels thrashed Illinois in Chicago before embarrassing Pac-12 contender Cal. UNLV's administration couldn't be more pleased with first-year coach Dave Rice."

Click here for the full column.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. Nice to get some national recognition. I'm sure the Rebel haters will find something negative about this article, it's what they do. Preemptive strike... GO REBELS!!!!!!

  2. Finally some respect from espn, lets win at san diego to prove it!

  3. They'll soon enough know when we become a brackbusting team. I know imbeciles will have us losing to a 13/14th seed first round...I just hope we don't face Wisconsin in the tourney. What a sickening style of play they have. The higher the seeding, the better boys! Can't afford to fall out the rankings anytime this year because there will be no getting back in!

  4. In his column, Jason King also gives a nod to Dave Rice as being at least in the running for possible coach of the year:

    "Three things for fans to debate:

    1. National coach of the year (so far): Is it Tom Crean, John Thompson III, Dave Rice -- or someone else?"

    While national coach of the year may be a stretch, if we play the second half of the season the same way we have played the first, I think Rice should definitely win coach of the year in the MWC.

  5. Actually I would love a reamtch with Wisconsin. It took a random player getting super hot to beat us on a real down night. I think the team definately learned something from that experience.

  6. I like the ESPN bracketology so far as well with UNLV at a #5 spot, taking on South Dakota st, and then most likely Gonzaga. I definitely think we can take on the Zags this season.

  7. I think it's a no brainier taking on the zags and beating them convincingly. How? Style of play. Whoever chooses to run against us, loses. That's why I would love to play mizzou too. We will have deep rotations will Wallace probably being the last one to come off the bench as the 10th player. Ultimately, we will weather down opponents and fatigue will come. We did so against UNC. I see us pounding the zags and Ohio state would probably be our only mismatch problem in terms of size. Honestly, I prefer no big ten teams. Slow down offense is trash but we are beginning to play better against it and we will as the conference season goes deeper.

  8. John Thompson? No way. Gtown will end the season with a out 7-9 losses. Mark my word. They're not as overrated as Louisville but seton hall is going to dispose of all those teams.

  9. I think if we beat SDSU on the road, we can definitely be a sweet 16 team at least.