Moments before the start of the UNLV basketball team’s Mountain West Conference tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday against Air Force, one of my media colleagues asked for a prediction. With a straight face, I told him the Rebels would win by double digits. Not just against Air Force, but in the Rebels’ other tournament games, too.
Last year I wrote about the Western High baseball team’s improbable upset against local power Sierra Vista. Western is located in one of Las Vegas’ worst neighborhoods. The school’s athletes don’t enjoy the financial backing of the teams they compete against, and most people in town are dismissive of the school and its students. But I couldn’t help silently cheering for this group of seasonal players. Turns out that game was just one of the many good things happening each afternoon on the Western diamond. I wish everyone could have seen what happened at Western’s game Monday against Faith Lutheran.
Before the disaster that was the UNLV basketball team’s second loss of the season to lowly Fresno State, a script read by the public address announcer during the Rebels’ Senior Day celebration raised a red flag. When introducing Justin Hawkins and Anthony Marshall on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center for their final game, making four straight NCAA Tournaments was listed in each of their accomplishments. OK, I get it, the Rebels are 99.9 percent guaranteed to have their name called next Sunday. It’s just a pair of defeats to 11-win Fresno State will surely be a gigantic black ...
Quintrell Thomas, UNLV’s 6-foot-8, 245-pound power forward with a daunting physical stature and a look that is downright intimidating, seems like the last person on the Rebels’ team you’d want to start a fight with. But looks are deceiving.
It’s a scene that doesn’t get old for racing fans and other tourists visiting the Las Vegas Strip each early March. The NASCAR Hauler Parade again shutout one of the world’s most famous streets, with the trucks carry the cars for this weekend’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races traveling from the South Point to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on a familiar course.
The UNLV basketball team didn’t take its first lead Tuesday against visiting Boise State until 17 minutes remained in the game. It lasted less than one minute. Mind you, that was the first time the Rebels led the Broncos in a game this season. Earlier this year, UNLV trailed from start to finish in a five-point loss at Boise State. Tonight, the Rebels fell behind by seven points early and trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but was able to scratch and claw its way to a hard-fought 68-64 victory.
Maybe this will be the victory that changes the UNLV basketball team’s fortunes. The Rebels trailed visiting San Diego State Saturday by 11 points in the first half but rallied for a 72-70 victory. They showed a toughness that has been glaringly missing — especially on the road — in the past few weeks and weren’t going to be pushed around on their home court.
The UNLV basketball team’s problems are far from fixed, but a 64-55 victory Saturday against No. 15 New Mexico was clearly a step in the right direction. Yes, it’s tough to forget the train wreck of the past two games — playing uninspired in an ugly loss at Boise State, then trailing by as many as 16 points in falling at last-place Fresno State. But, in what was deemed as a must-win game against New Mexico to salvage the season, the Rebels — especially in the first half — resembled the quality team they were expected to be.
Another safety. And with four seconds left in the game. The gambling gods were shining on a few lucky handicappers late in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Of course, I wasn’t included in that good fortune. Last week, I gave readers my picks for a few proposition wagers, including one predication I felt strongly about. There was no way there would be a safety.
Most UNLV supporters despise all things UNR. But, home games against New Mexico and San Diego State next month will be more significant than this victory — for the players, a good majority of the fans, and most important, in determining the fate of the Rebels’ season.
Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers is Sunday, and for several of us, that means taking a crack at the several proposition wagers posted by Las Vegas-area sports books. Here are some prop bets that stood out, including my sure-thing lock.
If we’ve learned anything in the initial two weeks of Mountain West Conference play it’s there are no easy games. So, when fans at the Thomas & Mack Center headed for the exits with about three minutes to play Thursday in UNLV’s 62-50 victory against Wyoming, they signaled a first for the Rebels in five league games — a comfortable victory.
The developers’ latest presentation on UNLV Now, the proposed $800 million mega-events center, has generated a lot of buzz. One thing is sure: Everyone has questions about it. Here is a sampling, with some answers.
Missed foul shots, poor shot selection and playing with little confidence. That pretty much sums up the UNLV basketball team when it's in a close game, especially the past two weeks. Saturday, the Rebels nearly sunk to a new low in a too-close-for-comfort 76-71 overtime victory against visiting Air Force. Yes, that Air Force. And at home.
There always will be a special place in my heart for the Silver Bowl. That’s what we locals call Sam Boyd Stadium, the starter home of sorts of the UNLV football program if the proposed UNLV Now project becomes a reality.