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October 31, 2014

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UNLV’s Final Four records endure after decades

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Freddie Banks converts an easy layup for the UNLV basketball team during its 1987 Final Four season.

It’s been more than 20 years since UNLV reached the Final Four, but those teams were so memorable and so prolific that they are discussed every year.

To realize how big of an impact the Rebels had, you need only check the record books. And it wasn’t just the national title team, either. Here’s a look at some of UNLV’s most impressive Final Four stats:

Most 3-pointers made and attempted

• Freddie Banks, 10-for-19 vs. Indiana

In 1987, the No. 1 seed Rebels met fellow No. 1 seed Indiana for a classic clash in New Orleans. UNLV lost 97-93 despite 38 points from Banks.

Most assists

• Mark Wade, 18 vs. Indiana

A lot of Banks’ points were set up by Wade, whose 18 assists are by far the most dished out by a single player in the Final Four.

Largest margin of victory in a title game

• UNLV, 103-73 vs. Duke

There have been more lopsided games in the national semifinals but never has the season ended with a beat-down the likes of which the Rebels handed the Blue Devils. UNLV set a record for most points in the title game, most made field goals (41) and assists (24). The championship game is usually so even it’s hard to imagine this record crumbling anytime soon.

Fewest free throws made and attempted

• UNLV, 1-for-5 vs. UNC

Coach Jerry Tarkanian’s first Final Four team in 1977 fell one point shy of North Carolina in the national semifinals, 84-83, which makes the record it set that game for free throws particularly frustrating. A couple more trips to the line and maybe Tark would have another title.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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