Since the glory days of the late 1980s and early 90s, the UNLV basketball program endured a dark period, in which it was absent from major tournaments, including the big dance, but that has all changed in the last few seasons. The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels hoops squad is coming off another incredible season in what has been a return to national prominence in recent years for the program. The 2011-2012 team went 26-8, achieving more than 20 wins for the sixth consecutive season, which led to its third straight NCAA tournament appearance. One thing they haven’t done since 2008 is win the Mountain West Conference Championship, but that’s another goal well within the grasp of this year’s dangerous, sharp-shooting group of Rebels.
Although last season was a rousing success for UNLV hoops, it did end on a sour note, as the Rebels were eliminated during round one of the NCAA tournament in a 68-64 loss to Colorado. Following a banner regular season, the Mountain West as a whole didn’t fare well in postseason play. San Diego State and Colorado State were also booted from the round of 64, while only New Mexico advanced, only to lose one game later to Louisville. However, with so many squads stacked with talent, including the Rebels, the conference should be among the college basketball elite in 2012-2013.
Who is predicted to win that conference? Many sports publications and websites, such as SB Nation say UNLV and for good reason. The Rebels added three top 75 recruits to its already stellar roster, one of whom, Anthony Bennett, also happens to be a national consensus top 10 prospect. When you factor in UNLV’s other new players, Pitt transfer Khem Birch, USC transfer and freshman standout, Bryce Jones and Roscoe Smith, who came over from powerhouse UConn, It looks like the talent pool in Las Vegas just got a lot deeper.
With young star-power and returning upperclassmen like Mike Moser, who averaged a double-double (14 points and 10.5 rebounds) per game last season for the Rebels, the only question now will be who will hit the game winning shot? The stable of talent that UNLV currently has at its disposal, which many are saying is its best team since the early 90s Final Four teams, has Rebel fans more than excited and eager for the season opener on Nov. 12 against Northern Arizona.
Luckily for Rebels fans, there are Fandeavor.com’s Premium and Ultimate Experiences with packages still up for grabs for each of the nine UNLV home games that are available. You won’t want to miss any of the games that will likely be a part of one of the greatest UNLV hoops seasons ever and you certainly won’t want to miss the experience.