About 3,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s home game against New Mexico

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV’s Carlos Lopez celebrates with fans after the Rebels beat New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV pulled out a 63-62 win.

A limited number of tickets remain for the UNLV basketball team’s Saturday home game against Mountain West Conference foe New Mexico. It’s widely considered one of the most important remaining home games of the season.

There are approximately 3,000 balcony seats left in the 18,485 capacity Thomas & Mack Center, and just a handful of single-seat openings on the lower bowl, according to school officials. Balcony seats are priced from $25 to $28; lower bowl tickets start at $45.

UNLV (16-3), which is ranked No. 14 by the Associated Press, lost its league opener last weekend by two points at San Diego State.

“There is a March Madness feel in town right now in January,” said D.J. Allen, senior associate athletics director. “When that starts, good things happen in so many areas for the program and the department.”

Officials believe the excitement created by the Rebels’ hot start to the season could result in a sellout. It would mark the fourth straight season UNLV has sold out a game — against BYU in 2009 and 2010, and last year against San Diego State. Before 2009, UNLV went 16 years without a sellout.

“This team is very marketable and the fans know the guys,” Allen said. “They are a great group of guys, very likable and many of them have been key players on this team for many years. It’s an easy team to root for and to get behind.”

Also, the Rebels on Wednesday host TCU at home. Tickets are still available.

UNLV won’t be the only game on campus Saturday. A high school basketball game at 2 p.m. between Bishop Gorman High and Findlay Prep at the Cox Pavilion is equally anticipated. There are no tickets remaining.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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