Published Sunday, March 17, 2013 | 3:24 p.m.
Updated Sunday, March 17, 2013 | 3:52 p.m.
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The brackets are out and the Las Vegas Sun sports team is here to discuss UNLV's draw as the 5-seed in San Jose, Calif., and a rematch with Cal.
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Bring on the Golden Bears. Again.
The UNLV basketball team received a No. 5 seed Sunday for the NCAA Tournament and will face Cal on Thursday in San Jose to open the 68-team event. The Rebels earned an at-large bid for the fourth straight season and will look to win their first tournament game since 2008.
UNLV beat Cal 76-75 earlier this season at the buzzer when Quintrell Thomas muscled for an offensive rebound on a missed shot by Anthony Marshall, converting a layup for one of the Rebels' signature wins of the season.
If they get past Cal again, the Rebels would advance to the round of 32 to face the winner of No. 4 seed Syracuse against No. 13 seed Montana.
Like the first meeting against Cal, Thursday's contest also could be considered a road game for UNLV because it's in San Jose — about a one-hour drive from the Cal campus in Berkeley. It's important to note that it's rare for teams that met in the regular season to face one another in the first weekend of the tournament
UNLV (25-9) lost Saturday in the Mountain West tournament championship game to New Mexico but won seven of its final nine games to gain some momentum.
The Rebels in 2007 advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins against Georgia Tech and Wisconsin. In 2008, they reached the round of 32 after beating Kent State in the tournament opener.
They missed the tournament in 2009 and have lost in the first game the past three seasons — narrowly to Northern Iowa in 2010 and by lopsided fashion against Illinois (2011) and Colorado (2012).
UNLV has four times advanced to the Final Four and won the 1990 national championship.
It was a banner day for the Mountain West, which had a record five teams selected — a tremendous feat for a league considered by many as a mid-major conference.
Boise State, which took fifth in the league and was on the tournament bubble, was one of the last teams in the field. They are a No. 13 seed and play in the first round Wednesday against La Salle. The winner would play Kansas State on Friday.
The league’s other four teams to make the tournament were no surprise.
New Mexico, the league’s regular season and tournament champions, received a No. 3 seed in the West Region and will play Ivy League champ Harvard in Salt Lake City.
San Diego State is seeded No. 7 in the South Region and plays No. 10 Oklahoma to open the tournament. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger could be at an advantage game-planning against the Aztecs from his days coaching at UNLV through the 2011 season.
Colorado State, which took second ahead of UNLV in the regular season, was seeded No. 8 in the Midwest Region and will face ninth-seeded Missouri.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.