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UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball

UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball

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The UNLV Runnin' Rebels are a NCAA Division I men's basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team who play at the Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack Center
The Thomas & Mack Center is an arena, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. For ring events, the capacity is 19,522, for basketball, the capacity is 18,776.-History:...

 in Paradise, Nevada
Paradise, Nevada
Paradise is an unincorporated town in the Las Vegas metropolitan area in Clark County, Nevada, United States. The population was 223,167 at the 2010 census...

. Their most recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 was in 2011 when they received an at–large bid to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, earning an 8-seed in the Southwest Region; they lost to 9-seed Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in the second round.
As of 2009, UNLV is the fourth-winningest program by percentage (.712) in Division I history — ranking behind Kentucky
Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, representing the University of Kentucky, is the winningest in the history of college basketball, both in all-time wins and all-time winning percentage. Kentucky's all-time record currently stands at 2058–647...

, North Carolina
North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball
The North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is considered one of the most successful programs in NCAA history...

 and Kansas, but ahead of UCLA
UCLA Bruins men's basketball
The UCLA Bruins men's basketball program, established in 1920, owns a record 11 Division I NCAA championships. UCLA teams coached by John Wooden won 10 national titles in 12 seasons from 1964 to 1975, including 7 straight from 1967 to 1973. UCLA went undefeated a record 4 times, in 1964, 1967,...

, and Duke
Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team is the college basketball program representing Duke University in the Atlantic Coast Conference of NCAA Division I...

. UNLV is 33-17 all-time in the NCAA tournament with a .660 winning percentage. In July 2008, ESPNU
ESPNU
ESPNU is a television channel that specializes in college sports, and is produced by, affiliated with and owned by parent network ESPN. ESPNU originates out of ESPN Regional Television's ESPNU (often referred to as The U) is a television channel that specializes in college sports, and is produced...

 named the program the eighth most prestigious collegiate basketball program in the nation since 1984.

The glory years


In 1977, just seven years after joining Division I, The Rebels made the Final Four in a squad today known as the "Hardway eight". Ten years later, the team made the Final Four with one loss and in 1990, UNLV won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 by beating Duke University by a record-setting margin of 103–73, becoming the first team and up to this date the only team to score over 100 in the championship game. Before becoming a basketball powerhouse in the late 1970s, UNLV was often referred to as "Tumbleweed Tech" due to its relative obscurity. Led by famed coach Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian , also known as "Tark the Shark", is a retired college basketball coach known as one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history...

, the Runnin' Rebels were among the most exciting teams in the nation. They consistently led the nation in points scored, turnovers forced, and most importantly - wins. The Runnin' Rebels were well known for going on long runs that turned close games into blowouts.

Tarkanian was suspected of violating numerous NCAA regulations and was forced out in 1992 by then-president Robert Maxson. In 1998 Tarkanian received a $2.5 million out of court settlement when he sued the NCAA for violations stemming from its investigation of UNLV. On November 26, 2005, for his achievements as coach of the Runnin' Rebels (he was 509–105 in 19 years as head coach), the basketball court at the Thomas & Mack Center was renamed Jerry Tarkanian Court. The last Rebel squad coached by Tarkanian won their ninth consecutive Big West Conference
Big West Conference
The Big West Conference is an NCAA-affiliated Division I mid-major college athletic conference. When the conference began in 1969, its name was the Pacific Coast Athletic Association . After nineteen years, in 1988, its name was changed to the Big West Conference. The conference stopped...

 regular season title, but was barred from the NCAA Tournament due to probation. The Rebels had actually been barred from the 1991 tourney only months after winning the title, but a settlement with the NCAA allowed them to play in that tournament and miss the next one.

The lean years


The years after Tarkanian's departure were tumultuous. UNLV hired former Villanova
Villanova Wildcats men's basketball
This is the article about the men's basketball team from Villanova University. The team has competed since the 1920–21 season. Nicknamed the "Wildcats", Villanova is a member of the Big East Conference and the Philadelphia Big Five. The Villanova Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA...

 coach Rollie Massimino
Rollie Massimino
Roland V. "Rollie" Massimino is an American basketball coach and former player. He is currently the head men's basketball coach at the Florida campus of Northwood University in West Palm Beach, a position he has held since 2006...

 to replace Tarkanian, but after a 15-13 season in 1993-94, he was let go. The community was outraged to discover that Massimino had been awarded a secret contract — a deal that ultimately led to Maxson's departure from UNLV.

Massimino was replaced by well-respected Tarkanian assistant Tim Grgurich
Tim Grgurich
Tim Grgurich is an American basketball coach and native of the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania having attended Central Catholic High School in the city. He also served as the head basketball coach at UNLV for the first seven games of the 1994–95 season before abruptly...

, but he lasted just 7 games in 1994 before resigning. Howie Landa and Cleveland Edwards finished the 1994-95 season, which ended with a 12-16 record—the school's first losing season in 34 years, and first since moving up to Division I. The team hired UMass assistant Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno is an American basketball coach and former player. He was the head men's basketball coach at Loyola Marymount University from 2008 to 2009, resigning due to medical reasons...

 for the 1995-96 season. With a still-depleted roster, Bayno's first year ended with a 10-16 record, the worst in school history.

However, Bayno engineered a very quick return to respectability. He was an excellent recruiter, bringing in future NBA talent including Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion
Shawn Dwayne Marion is an American professional basketball player currently with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Marion attended high school in Clarksville, Tennessee. Before transferring to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Marion...

, Tyrone Nesby
Tyrone Nesby
Tyrone Lamont Nesby is a retired American professional basketball player.Undrafted in the 1998 NBA Draft, Nesby played in the National Basketball Association with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Washington Wizards .In Europe he played for Olympia Larissa , Metis Varese , Reflex and Lietuvos...

, and Keon Clark
Keon Clark
Arian Keon Clark is a former American National Basketball Association player.After a collegiate career at two different junior colleges and UNLV, Clark was selected 13th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1998 NBA Draft but was traded to the Denver Nuggets...

. The Rebels returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1997, their first appearance in six years Bayno was let go in 2000, after the NCAA found that UNLV had violated rules while recruiting Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom
Lamar Joseph Odom is an American professional basketball forward with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.-Early life:...

. Odom ultimately chose Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island is the principal public research university in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in Kingston. Additional campuses include the Feinstein Campus in Providence, the Narragansett Bay Campus in Narragansett, and the W. Alton Jones Campus in West...

 over UNLV.

It was in the wake of Bayno that UNLV began looking for a well-respected coach to act as an anchor for the program. The school intensely pursued former University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, also known as UK, is a public co-educational university and is one of the state's two land-grant universities, located in Lexington, Kentucky...

 and Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

 coach Rick Pitino
Rick Pitino
Rick Pitino is an American basketball coach. Since 2001, he has been the head coach at the University of Louisville. He has also served as head coach at Boston University, Providence College and the University of Kentucky, leading that program to the NCAA championship in 1996...

, who ultimately spurned the university before choosing to work at Louisville
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General...

. Former Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University is a private, co-educational Jesuit university located in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1818 by the Most Reverend Louis Guillaume Valentin Dubourg SLU is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River. It is one of 28 member institutions of the...

 coach Charlie Spoonhour
Charlie Spoonhour
Charlie Spoonhour is a retired high school and college basketball coach.Spoonhour received an education degree from the University of the Ozarks. He spent seven seasons as a high school basketball coach, then fourteen seasons bouncing between Division I assistant coaching positions and junior...

 replaced Bayno for the 2001-02 season, compiling a 54-31 record before resigning in the middle of the 2004 season.

Recent years


The anchor turned out to be Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger is an American college and professional basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach of the University of Oklahoma. Kruger played college basketball for Kansas State University...

, who came to Las Vegas after an unsuccessful stint as the coach of the Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association .-The first years:...

. Kruger is 107-46 since taking the helm at UNLV in 2004, with a 3-2 record in the NCAA tournament and a 1-2 record in the NIT
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are two NIT events each season. The first, played in November and known as the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , was founded in 1985...

.

On Dec. 9, 2006, UNLV won a significant road game at Nevada
Nevada Wolf Pack men's basketball
The Nevada Wolf Pack basketball program is a college basketball team that represents the University of Nevada, Reno. The team is currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference, which is a Division I conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association...

 58-49, ranked No. 20 in the nation at the time. It was the first time UNLV had won a game on the road vs. a ranked opponent since the No.1 Runnin' Rebels won at No.12 New Mexico 86-74 on Feb. 25, 1991, the year UNLV finished 34-1 under coach Jerry Tarkanian with a 79-77 loss to Duke in the NCAA semifinals being their only defeat. A win later that year on ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 at Texas Tech
Texas Tech Red Raiders men's basketball
The Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball team represents Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in NCAA Division I men's basketball competition The team is currently coached by Billy Gillispie. Prior to Gillispie being named coach, the coach was Pat Knight who succeeded his father, Hall of Famer Bob...

 as Bob Knight attempted to set the all-time coaching wins mark put UNLV in NCAA tournament contention, and winning the Mountain West Conference tournament sealed their bid. They finished the regular season 25-5. The Runnin' Rebels ultimately lost to Oregon
Oregon Ducks men's basketball
Oregon Ducks men’s college basketball is an intercollegiate basketball program that competes in the NCAA Division I and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, representing the University of Oregon. The Ducks play their home games at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon, then coached by Howard Hobson, won...

 in the Sweet 16
2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 NCAA schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2006–07 basketball season...

, 76-72, after defeating Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball team represents the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in NCAA Division I basketball. The team plays its home games in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Under the tenure of Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech established itself as a national force in basketball...

 and upsetting Wisconsin
Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball
The Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team is a NCAA Division I college basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at the Kohl Center, located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin....

. The team finished 14th in the polls with a 30-6 record.
On March 15, 2008, the UNLV Runnin' Rebels won the 2008 Mountain West Conference
Mountain West Conference
The Mountain West Conference , popularly known as the Mountain West, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS . The MWC officially began operations in July 1999...

 Basketball Championship, defeating a No. 24 BYU
BYU Cougars men's basketball
The BYU Cougars men's basketball team represents Brigham Young University in NCAA Division I basketball play. Established in 1902, the team has won 30 conference championships and 2 NIT Tournaments , and competed in 26 NCAA Tournaments. It currently competes in the West Coast Conference...

 team 76-61. Wink Adams scored a game-high 23 points and was given the MVP title. This was the only time of the season they beat a ranked opponent.

They were a No. 8 seed for the 2008 NCAA Tournament after going 23-7 in the regular season and played Kent State
Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball
The Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team represents Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The Golden Flashes compete in the Mid-American Conference East Division and last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2008...

 on Thursday, March 20, 2008, beating them with a final score of 71-58. UNLV had the lead the entire game and held Kent State to a tournament record 10 points in the first half. Next, they faced top-seeded and eventual national champion Kansas
2007-08 Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team
The 2007–08 Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team represented the University of Kansas for the NCAA Division I men's intercollegiate basketball season of 2007–2008. The team was led by Bill Self in his fifth season as head coach. The team played its home games in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence,...

 on March 22, 2008. The Runnin' Rebels ended the first half above expectations, trailing 29-34. However, Kansas controlled the second half and denied UNLV their fifth straight second-round win, winning the game 75-56. They finished that season 27-8.

The Rebels started the 2008-09 season 5-0, their best start since 1999. A 73-55 loss to the California Golden Bears
California Golden Bears
The California Golden Bears is the nickname used for 29 varsity athletic programs and various club teams of the University of California, Berkeley...

 on November 28, 2008, however, was the first time since the previous season that the Rebels had lost by more than 15, and was the first time they had ever lost to the Golden Bears after 3 meetings prior. The very next day they lost to Cincinnati
Cincinnati Bearcats men's basketball
The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team is the NCAA Division I men's basketball program of the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. They currently compete in the Big East Conference and are coached by Mick Cronin. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in...

 67-65, which marked the first time in over 3 years that the Rebels had lost consecutive games. On December 31, 2008, they beat #18 Louisville 56-55, on the road, which was the highest ranked opponent the Rebels have beaten on the road since they beat #12 New Mexico in 1991, and their only game against a ranked opponent all season. They also started off the first half of their season 13-2, their best 15 game start since they went 15-0 1991. They fell out in the second half of the season, going 8-7 and finished the regular season with a 21-9 record and 5th in their conference. They were denied a third consecutive Conference Tournament Championship when they lost to the San Diego State Aztecs 71-57, on March 12, 2009. The Rebels went on to become a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NIT
2009 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals and finals:Played at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 31 and April 2* denotes each overtime played-NIT Championship:...

 in a loss against Kentucky
2008–09 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team
The 2008–09 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represents the University of Kentucky in the college basketball season of 2008–2009. The team's head coach was Billy Gillispie, who was in his second year as coach. The Wildcats play their home games at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky...

 in the first round on March 17, 2009.

The Rebels started off strong once again for their 2009-10 campaign with their second consecutive 5-0 start, the first time since 1989-90 and 1990-91 that they have done so. Their victory over #16 Louisville was their first home victory against a ranked opponent since beating #23 BYU in March 2007 and the highest ranked opponent the Rebels have beaten since defeating the Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball
The Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team is a NCAA Division I college basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at the Kohl Center, located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin....

 (ranked 6th in the final AP Poll) in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. On November 30, 2009, the Rebels were ranked 24th in the AP Polls and 21st in the USA Today/ESPN Polls, making it the first time they've been ranked since finishing 14th in both polls after the 2006-07 campaign.

On February 10, 2010, UNLV, ranked 23rd at the time in the AP Polls, played against New Mexico, ranked 15th at the time. It marked the first game between ranked opponents at the Thomas & Mack Center since #25 UNLV played #23 BYU
BYU Cougars
BYU Cougars is an American soccer team based in Provo, Utah, United States. The team plays in the USL Premier Development League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference....

 on March 10, 2007.

On March 6, 2010, they ended their 2009-10 campaign with 74-56 win over Wyoming
Wyoming Cowboys
Wyoming Cowboys is the name given to the sports teams of the University of Wyoming. The women's teams use the name Cowgirls. The University is a member of the Mountain West Conference and competes in NCAA Division I, fielding 17 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Wrestling is the only varsity sport that is...

 at home. They finished the season 23-7, their best win-loss record since going 25-5 after the 2006-07 season.

On March 14, 2010, the Runnin' Rebels returned to the NCAA Tournament
2010 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The first and second round games were played at the following sites:*March 18 / 20*March 25 / 27*March 26 / 28Each regional winner advanced to the Final Four, held on April 3 and 5 in Indianapolis, Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium, hosted by the Horizon League and Butler University, as per the NCAA's...

 after missing out in 2009. They finished the season with a 25-9 record, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Northern Iowa
Northern Iowa Panthers
The Northern Iowa Panthers are the athletic teams of the University of Northern Iowa. The university is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and competes in NCAA Division I, fielding 15 varsity teams in 11 sports:...

 66-69, thanks to a 3-pointer with under 3 seconds to go by The Panthers.

On March 13, 2011, the Runnin' Rebels earned their 18th overall NCAA Tournament
2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The following sites were selected to host each round of the 2011 tournament:First Four*March 15 and 16**University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OhioSecond and third rounds*March 17 and 19**Verizon Center, Washington, D.C....

 bid and fourth in five seasons, being picked as an 8 seed in the Southwest Regional. UNLV faced the 9th seeded Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

. UNLV finished the season 24-9, falling to the Illini 62-73 on Friday, March 18th 2011.

On April 1, 2011, Lon Kruger announced that he would be Leaving UNLV for the University of Oklahoma. Kruger reportedly will receive a compensation package worth about 2.2 million dollars per year with the Sooners.

On November 26, 2011, The Rebels upset #1 North Carolina
North Carolina Tar Heels
The North Carolina Tar Heels are the athletic teams for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The name Tar Heel is a nickname used to refer to individuals from the state of North Carolina, the Tar Heel State...

 on a neutral court in the Las Vegas Invitational, 90-80 to start their season 7-0.

Final Four Squads


1976-77

Known as the “Hardway Eight,” this was the team that put UNLV on the map as a nationally prominent program. With players such as Lewis Brown, Glen Gondrezick
Glen Gondrezick
Glen Michael 'Gondo' Gondrezick was an American basketball player, who operated as either a shooting guard or a small forward .-Basketball career:...

, Larry Moffett, Eddie Owens, Robert Smith, Sam Smith
Sam Smith (basketball, born 1955)
Sam Smith is an American former professional basketball player.A 6'4" guard, Smith played at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas during the 1970s, and helped the Runnin' Rebels reach the NCAA Final Four in 1977...

, Tony Smith and Reggie Theus, the Rebels ran themselves to a record of 29-3 and a spot in the 1977 Final Four
Final four
Final Four isa sports term that is commonly applied to the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament, most notably NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments. The term usually refers to the four teams who compete in the two games of a single-elimination tournament's semi-final round...

 at the Omni in Atlanta. UNLV’s record-setting team established NCAA marks for most points in one season (3,426), most 100-point games (23) and most consecutive 100-point games (12). The Runnin’ Rebels won their first-ever West Regional Championship and advanced to the national semifinals. An 84-83
loss to North Carolina
North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball
The North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is considered one of the most successful programs in NCAA history...

 in the semifinals ended the championship dreams, but a 106-94 triumph over North Carolina-Charlotte
Charlotte 49ers
The Charlotte 49ers represent the NCAA Division I sports teams of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Charlotte joined the Atlantic 10 in 2005. The 49ers field 16 teams, 8 men and 8 women....

 gave UNLV third place and a positive end to the season. The squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.

1986-87

The 1986-87 edition of Runnin’ Rebels basketball was a special one as it became the first team to end the regular season as the nation’s top-ranked team. Led by Freddie Banks, Jarvis Basnight, Armon Gilliam, Gerald Paddio and Mark Wade, the Rebels ran through the Pacific Coast Athletic Association
Big West Conference
The Big West Conference is an NCAA-affiliated Division I mid-major college athletic conference. When the conference began in 1969, its name was the Pacific Coast Athletic Association . After nineteen years, in 1988, its name was changed to the Big West Conference. The conference stopped...

 with a perfect record of 18-0. The team’s only regular-season loss came at Oklahoma
Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball
-1908-1980:The Sooners enjoyed moderate success on the court during this era, posting only 16 losing records in their first 72 seasons. They were coached by 9 different coaches during this period, beginning with Bennie Owen , and ending with Dave Bliss in 1980...

, 89-88. UNLV entered the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in the West Region, breezing through the first three rounds. The Rebels received a big scare in the regional final when they were forced to overcome an 18-point deficit against a scrappy Iowa squad. The 84-81 triumph earned UNLV a spot in the Final Four at the Superdome in New Orleans. Banks shined in the semifinal matchup with Indiana
Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball
The Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing Indiana University . The school competes in the Big Ten Conference in Division I of the NCAA. The Hoosiers play on Branch McCracken Court at the Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana on the IU...

, connecting on a tournament-record 10 3-pointers, but it was not enough as the Rebels fell to the eventual champions, 97-93. The loss ended UNLV’s season with a record of 37-2. The squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

1989-90

The season it all came together for the Runnin’ Rebels was 1989-90. Future NBA star Larry Johnson transferred from Odessa College, joining Greg Anthony
Greg Anthony
Gregory Carlton Anthony is an American former National Basketball Association basketball player and former personality on the ESPN family of networks. He is currently an analyst for CBS's college basketball coverage...

, Stacey Augmon
Stacey Augmon
Stacey Orlando Augmon is a retired American professional basketball player, formerly in the NBA. He gained the nickname "Plastic Man" due to his athletic ability to "stretch"...

, David Butler
David Butler (basketball)
David Butler is a retired American basketball player. He won an NCAA championship as a senior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and played professionally in several countries, including a stint with Liga ACB in Spain....

 and Anderson Hunt
Anderson Hunt
Anderson Hunt is a retired American basketball player.-NCAA career:Hunt is best known as a member of the successful 1989-91 Runnin' Rebels from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas that made back-to-back Final Four appearances including a national championship in 1989-90 where he contributed 29...

. The Rebels began the season ranked No. 1 in almost every poll and rolled through the competition. UNLV suffered a surprising loss at New Mexico State
New Mexico State Aggies men's basketball
The New Mexico State Aggies Basketball team is the basketball team that represents New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Founded in 1904, the Aggies currently compete in the Western Athletic Conference and last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2010...

 and finished the season as co-champions of the Big West Conference. However, Johnson and Co. flexed their muscles in the Big West Tournament, running away with the title and the No. 1 seed in the West Region. In NCAA Tournament play, the Rebels toughest game came in the third round at Oakland, Calif., when Ball State
Ball State Cardinals men's basketball
The Ball State Cardinals men's basketball team is the basketball team that represent Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The Cardinals first basketball season was 1920-1921. The school's team currently competes in the Mid-American Conference. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's...

 hung tough before falling 69-67. UNLV also ended Loyola Marymount’s
Loyola Marymount Lions
The Loyola Marymount Lions are the athletic teams that represent Loyola Marymount University, a Jesuit institution in Los Angeles, California. The school competes in NCAA Division I, with its primary affiliation in the West Coast Conference, an organization consisting solely of...

 Cinderella season with a 131-101 thrashing in the regional final. The win set up a semifinal match with Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball team represents the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in NCAA Division I basketball. The team plays its home games in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Under the tenure of Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech established itself as a national force in basketball...

 at McNichols Arena
McNichols Sports Arena
McNichols Sports Arena was an indoor arena, in Denver, Colorado, USA, adjacent to Mile High Stadium. Completed in 1975, at a cost of $10 million, it seated 16,061, for hockey games, 17,171, for basketball games and contained 27 luxury suites, which were installed as part of the 1986 renovation. It...

 in Denver. Trailing by seven at the half, UNLV rallied for an 89-80 triumph and a date in the championship. The 1990 NCAA Championship was all UNLV as an 18-0 run midway through the second half sent Duke
Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team is the college basketball program representing Duke University in the Atlantic Coast Conference of NCAA Division I...

 reeling as the Rebels ran up the most lopsided victory in championship history, 103-73. Hunt was named Most Outstanding Player
NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
At the conclusion of the NCAA men's and women's Division I basketball championships , the Associated Press selects a Most Outstanding Player. The MOP need not be, but almost always is a member of the Championship team, especially since the third place game was eliminated after 1981...

 at the Final Four
Final four
Final Four isa sports term that is commonly applied to the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament, most notably NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments. The term usually refers to the four teams who compete in the two games of a single-elimination tournament's semi-final round...

 for his performance as the Rebels finished the season 35-5. The squad was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

1990-91

Billed as one of the greatest teams of all time, the 1990-91 squad became the first team in 12 seasons to go undefeated in the regular season (27-0). A perfect record of 18-0 captured the Big West crown and earned the Rebels the No. 1 seed in the West Region. UNLV also flexed its muscles in a rout of then-No. 2 Arkansas in Fayetteville
Barnhill Arena
Barnhill Arena is a 10,000-seat multipurpose arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas, now used primarily for volleyball. The arena opened in 1954 and was home to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and Ladybacks basketball teams before they moved to Bud Walton Arena in 1993...

. The Rebels rolled through regional play with wins over Montana
Montana Grizzlies
Montana Grizzlies is the nickname given to the athletic teams of the University of Montana. The women's basketball team, however, uses the moniker Lady Griz...

, Georgetown, Utah
Utah Utes men's basketball
The University of Utah Utes have consistently been one of the most successful basketball programs in the NCAA. They are currently an NCAA Division I program that plays in the Pacific-12 Conference. The school has made the NCAA Tournament 26 times, which ranks 16th in NCAA history and 3rd behind...

 and Seton Hall
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey, United States. Founded in 1856 by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the United States. Seton Hall is also the oldest and largest Catholic university in the...

 before a showdown with Duke in the Final Four at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

. Grant Hill
Grant Hill
Grant Hill is the name of:* Grant Hill, American basketball player* Grant Hill , Canadian politician* Grant Hill, San Diego, California, an urban neighboorhood in central San Diego...

, Bobby Hurley
Bobby Hurley
Robert Matthew 'Bobby' Hurley is an American former basketball player and currently an assistant coach at Wagner College.-Biography:...

, and Christian Laettner
Christian Laettner
Christian Donald Laettner is a retired American professional basketball player and entrepreneur. He had a distinguished college and national career, and played in the National Basketball Association for thirteen seasons, from 1992–2005. He is presently a minority holder for the Major League...

 kept the Rebels in check all evening and ended UNLV’s dreams of back-to-back championships and the first perfect season since Indiana in 1976. The 79-77 loss ended UNLV’s season with a record of 34-1. The team was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

NIT Appearances


After their numerous Tournament and Final Four
Final four
Final Four isa sports term that is commonly applied to the last four teams remaining in a playoff tournament, most notably NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments. The term usually refers to the four teams who compete in the two games of a single-elimination tournament's semi-final round...

 appearances, the Rebels started to settle down and became less of a power school and more of an NIT
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are two NIT events each season. The first, played in November and known as the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , was founded in 1985...

 team. They made their debut in 1980
1980 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - Illinois 84, UNLV 74...

, where they made 4th place, and in 1982
1982 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:...

, as well, reaching the 2nd round. They made appearances from the time they hired Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno is an American basketball coach and former player. He was the head men's basketball coach at Loyola Marymount University from 2008 to 2009, resigning due to medical reasons...

 in 1993
1993 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - UAB 55, Providence 52...

, 1997
1997 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - Connecticut 74, Arkansas 64Michigan later forfeited its entire 1996-97 schedule after Robert Traylor, Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock were found to have taken money from a Michigan booster....

, 1999
1999 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - Xavier 106, Oregon 75...

, 2002
2002 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - Temple 65, Syracuse 64...

, 2003
2003 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:*Third Place - Texas Tech 71, Minnesota 61St. John's later vacated the title due to an ineligible player....

, and current head coach, Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger is an American college and professional basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach of the University of Oklahoma. Kruger played college basketball for Kansas State University...

's first 2 years in 2004
2004 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:...

, 2005
2005 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals & Finals:...

, and the latest in 2009
2009 National Invitation Tournament
-Semifinals and finals:Played at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 31 and April 2* denotes each overtime played-NIT Championship:...

. During this time, however, they made the NCAA Tournament four times, in 1998
1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 12, 1998, and ended with the championship game on March 30 at the Alamodome in San Antonio,...

, and again in 2000
2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 16, 2000, and ended with the championship game on April 3 in Indianapolis, Indiana...

 coming during Bayno's tenure with the team and also in 2007
2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 NCAA schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2006–07 basketball season...

 with Kruger where they reached the Sweet Sixteen and 2008
2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
The 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2007–08 basketball season...

 where they made the 2nd round in a loss to eventual champion Kansas. The Rebels are 8-11 all time in the NIT, with their last game being a loss to Kentucky
2008–09 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team
The 2008–09 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represents the University of Kentucky in the college basketball season of 2008–2009. The team's head coach was Billy Gillispie, who was in his second year as coach. The Wildcats play their home games at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky...

 on March 17, 2009.

Rivalries


The Rebels have 2 major rivalries, including the Wolfpack of the University of Nevada, Reno
University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno , is a teaching and research university established in 1874 and located in Reno, Nevada, USA...

  and the BYU Cougars
BYU Cougars
BYU Cougars is an American soccer team based in Provo, Utah, United States. The team plays in the USL Premier Development League , the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference....

. UNLV leads the series with the Wolfpack 55-19 and has won the last six meetings. The Runnin' Rebels lead their all-time conference series with BYU (before their departure from the conference) 19-16 as of the end of the 2010-11 season with back to back wins over BYU in the MWC tournament championship games (07 and 08) and a victory on February 21, 2009 marked the first regular season sweep of the Cougars in the Lon Kruger era. UNLV is also the only team to have a winning record against every other team in the Mountain West Conference
Mountain West Conference
The Mountain West Conference , popularly known as the Mountain West, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS . The MWC officially began operations in July 1999...

.

Arenas


Thomas & Mack Center
Thomas & Mack Center
The Thomas & Mack Center is an arena, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. For ring events, the capacity is 19,522, for basketball, the capacity is 18,776.-History:...

 (1983–Present)


The Thomas & Mack Center a 18,776 seat multipurpose arena on the southwest corner of the UNLV campus. The arena, which opened in 1983, is named after prominent Nevada bankers E. Parry Thomas
E. Parry Thomas
E. Parry Thomas is a now-retired American banker who helped finance the development of the casino industry of Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with his business partner, Jerry Mack, Parry Thomas is credited with building Las Vegas into what it is today. He was born in Ogden, Utah.Thomas worked for...

 and Jerome Mack, who donated the original fund for the feasibility and land studies. During a game against in-state rival Nevada-Reno
Nevada Wolf Pack men's basketball
The Nevada Wolf Pack basketball program is a college basketball team that represents the University of Nevada, Reno. The team is currently a member of the Western Athletic Conference, which is a Division I conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association...

 in November 2005, the court at the Thomas & Mack Center was renamed in honor of former head coach Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian , also known as "Tark the Shark", is a retired college basketball coach known as one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history...

 who posted a 509-105 record in his 19 seasons, including leading UNLV to 11 conference championships, 12 NCAA tournament berths and a national title in 1990.

Banners hang in the arena rafters all around the arena that honor former Rebels (including Greg Anthony
Greg Anthony
Gregory Carlton Anthony is an American former National Basketball Association basketball player and former personality on the ESPN family of networks. He is currently an analyst for CBS's college basketball coverage...

, Stacey Augmon
Stacey Augmon
Stacey Orlando Augmon is a retired American professional basketball player, formerly in the NBA. He gained the nickname "Plastic Man" due to his athletic ability to "stretch"...

 and Larry Johnson), regular season and conference tournament championships, appearances in NCAA and NIT
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. There are two NIT events each season. The first, played in November and known as the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , was founded in 1985...

 tournaments, advancements to the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Fours and a prominent banner representing the 1990 National Championship team.


Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas Convention Center
The Las Vegas Convention Center is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in Las Vegas, Nevada....

 (1966–1982)


In 1966, UNLV moved to the Las Vegas Convention Center near on Paradise Road in Winchester
Winchester, Nevada
Winchester is a census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States that contains part of the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of a number of CDPs in the unincorporated urbanized area directly south of Las Vegas. The population was 26,958 at the 2000 census. It is governed by the Clark County...

. The Runnin' Rebels would play sixteen seasons at the Convention Center, before moving back on campus to the newly opened Thomas & Mack Center for the 1983-84 season.


NSU Gymnasium
Marjorie Barrick Museum
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History is a museum located on the main campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas , established in 1967. The museum was originally instituted as a natural history museum with a focus on the natural history and environment of Nevada and the broader...

 (1958–1966)


The Runnin' Rebels first home arena was the NSU Gymnasium located on the UNLV campus (then known as Nevada Southern University). The Runnin' Rebels would play eight seasons at NSU Gymnasium before moving to the Las Vegas Convention Center. The NSU Gymnasium was developed into a natural history museum at UNLV and was renamed in 1989 to honor Marjorie Barrick, a longstanding benefactor of the university. The hardwood basketball court floor is still intact and acts as the floor for the museum.

Mendenhall Center

Announced in March 2010, the Mendenhall Center will be a state-of-the-art basketball practice facility attached to the south side of the Cox Pavilion
Cox Pavilion
The Cox Pavilion is a , multi-purpose indoor arena on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA, campus, connected to the Thomas & Mack Center, which serves as the home court for UNLV Lady Rebels women's basketball and volleyball programs as well as the annual NBA Summer League.Cox Communications...

, near the Thomas & Mack Center. The Mendenhall Center will have a total of 38000 square feet (3,530.3 m²) of space on three levels. Included will be two basketball courts, an academic area and film room, locker rooms, athletic training, strength and conditioning, and equipment areas.

Groundbreaking occurred on October 21, 2010 with a tentative completion date of spring 2011. The facility will be built entirely through the private sector and, upon completion of construction, will be gifted to the university. Several million of the $11.7 million to fund the facility came from Las Vegas Paving CEO Bob Mendenhall.

Aside from the two regulation-sized practice courts, the building will feature locker rooms for both players and coaches, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning equipment, an academics area, and a team video room along with other amenities. The facility will also include a Hall of Fame at the entrance and a mezzanine that overlooks the practice floors and can be used for receptions.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels NCAA Tournament Record

Year Record Last Opponent Coach
1975 2-1 Arizona State Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian
Jerry Tarkanian , also known as "Tark the Shark", is a retired college basketball coach known as one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history...

 
1976 2-1 Arizona Jerry Tarkanian
1977 4-1 Final Four North Carolina Jerry Tarkanian
1983 0-1 NC State* Jerry Tarkanian
1984 2-1 Georgetown* Jerry Tarkanian
1985 1-1 Kentucky Jerry Tarkanian
1986 2-1 Auburn Jerry Tarkanian
1987 4-1 Final Four Indiana* Jerry Tarkanian
1988 1-1 Iowa Jerry Tarkanian
1989 3-1 Seton Hall Jerry Tarkanian
1990 6-0 Final Four Champion Jerry Tarkanian
1991 4-1 Final Four Duke* Jerry Tarkanian
1998 0-1 Princeton Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno
Bill Bayno is an American basketball coach and former player. He was the head men's basketball coach at Loyola Marymount University from 2008 to 2009, resigning due to medical reasons...

2000 0-1 Tulsa Bill Bayno
2007 2-1 Oregon Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger
Lon Kruger is an American college and professional basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach of the University of Oklahoma. Kruger played college basketball for Kansas State University...

2008 1-1 Kansas* Lon Kruger
2010 0-1 Northern Iowa Lon Kruger
2011 0-1 Illinois Lon Kruger
33-17 *- Eventual national champion

All-Time Record vs. Power Conferences


UNLV vs. Pac-12 Conference (28-24)

UNLV vs. Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic league in the United States. Founded in 1953 in Greensboro, North Carolina, the ACC sanctions competition in twenty-five sports in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for its twelve member universities...

 (17-10)

UNLV vs. Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its twelve member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Nebraska in the west to Pennsylvania in the east...

 (15-8)

UNLV vs. Big East Conference
Big East Conference
The Big East Conference is a collegiate athletics conference consisting of sixteen universities in the eastern half of the United States. The conference's 17 members participate in 24 NCAA sports...

 (25-25)

UNLV vs. Big 12 Conference
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference is a college athletic conference of ten schools located in the Central United States, with its headquarters located in Las Colinas, a community in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Irving...

 (24-34)

UNLV vs. Southeastern Conference
Southeastern Conference
The Southeastern Conference is an American college athletic conference that operates in the southeastern part of the United States. It is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama...

 (12-14)

Retired numbers


UNLV has retired eight players' uniforms.
  • 4 – Larry Johnson
  • 21Sidney Green
  • 23Reggie Theus
  • 25Glen Gondrezick
    Glen Gondrezick
    Glen Michael 'Gondo' Gondrezick was an American basketball player, who operated as either a shooting guard or a small forward .-Basketball career:...

  • 32Stacey Augmon
    Stacey Augmon
    Stacey Orlando Augmon is a retired American professional basketball player, formerly in the NBA. He gained the nickname "Plastic Man" due to his athletic ability to "stretch"...

  • 40Ricky Sobers
    Ricky Sobers
    Ricky Brad Sobers is a former professional basketball player who spent eleven seasons in the NBA....

  • 50Greg Anthony
    Greg Anthony
    Gregory Carlton Anthony is an American former National Basketball Association basketball player and former personality on the ESPN family of networks. He is currently an analyst for CBS's college basketball coverage...

  • 35 - Armon Gilliam

Other UNLV Basketball Alumni

  • Louis Amundson
    Louis Amundson
    Louis Gabriel "Lou" Amundson is an American professional basketball player, currently with the Golden State Warriors. He has played in the NBA D-League and was named D-League Rookie of the Year in 2006. On August 14, 2008, Amundson signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns...

     - NBA basketball player with Golden State Warriors
    Golden State Warriors
    The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

  • Joel Anthony
    Joel Anthony
    Joel Vincent Anthony is a Canadian professional basketball player in the NBA who is currently a member of the Miami Heat. He is also a key member of the Canadian national men's basketball team.-High school career:...

     - NBA basketball player with Miami Heat
    Miami Heat
    The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

  • Marcus Banks
    Marcus Banks
    Arthur Lemarcus Banks III, commonly known as Marcus Banks , is an American professional basketball player who most recently played with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA....

     - NBA basketball player with New Orleans Hornets
  • Isaiah Rider - Former NBA basketball player
  • Keon Clark
    Keon Clark
    Arian Keon Clark is a former American National Basketball Association player.After a collegiate career at two different junior colleges and UNLV, Clark was selected 13th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1998 NBA Draft but was traded to the Denver Nuggets...

     - Former NBA basketball player
  • Glen Gondrezick
    Glen Gondrezick
    Glen Michael 'Gondo' Gondrezick was an American basketball player, who operated as either a shooting guard or a small forward .-Basketball career:...

     - Former NBA basketball player
  • Shawn Marion
    Shawn Marion
    Shawn Dwayne Marion is an American professional basketball player currently with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Marion attended high school in Clarksville, Tennessee. Before transferring to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Marion...

     - NBA basketball player with Dallas Mavericks
    Dallas Mavericks
    The Dallas Mavericks are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association , and the reigning NBA champions, having defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.According to a 2011...

  • Tyrone Nesby
    Tyrone Nesby
    Tyrone Lamont Nesby is a retired American professional basketball player.Undrafted in the 1998 NBA Draft, Nesby played in the National Basketball Association with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Washington Wizards .In Europe he played for Olympia Larissa , Metis Varese , Reflex and Lietuvos...

     - Former NBA basketball player
  • Kaspars Kambala
    Kaspars Kambala
    Kaspars Kambala is a Latvian professional basketball player and a former professional boxer. He is 2.06 meters tall and he weighs 125 kilograms...

    – Veteran of several European leagues

External links