Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 | 5:40 p.m.
The UNLV basketball team’s nonconference schedule was finalized Tuesday, including a Dec. 7 game at Arizona to highlight the 13-game out-of-league slate.
With San Jose State and Utah State joining the Mountain West this season, the Rebels’ nonleague games were trimmed by two from last season.
UNLV will open with six consecutive games at the Thomas & Mack Center, starting Nov. 8 against Portland State. The stretch includes tough games Nov. 19 against Arizona State of the Pac-12 and Nov. 16 against Illinois of the Big-10. Arizona State won 22 games last season and has one of the nation’s top players in Jahii Carson; Illinois advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round and won 23 games in 2012-13.
Other home games in the stretch of six to open the season include: Nov. 12 against UC Santa Barbara, Nov. 26 against Nebraska-Omaha and Nov. 30 against Tennessee-Martin.
The Rebels then play on the road for the first time when they travel to Tucson to face Arizona, which advanced to the Sweet 16 last year and will be UNLV’s toughest challenge of the nonconference schedule.
The Rebels will play a second road game when they travel Dec. 14 to Southern Utah — a time of the season during which they search for nearby games with the Mack being occupied by the National Finals Rodeo.
They return to the Mack with home games in the preliminary rounds of the Las Vegas Classic, hosting Sacred Heart on Dec. 18 and Radford on Dec. 20. The event moves to the Orleans Arena days before Christmas, with UNLV playing Dec. 22 against Santa Clara. On Dec. 23, it will play either Mississippi State or South Florida.
The Rebels close the nonleague slate Dec. 28 at home against Cal State Fullerton.
“We have again put together a schedule that will challenge our team and prepare us for an extremely competitive conference,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said in a statement.
Game times, television appearances and the league schedule will be announced later.
Fans looking to purchase season tickets can call the Rebel Athletic Fund at 895-1533 or visit UNLVTickets.com