rebel basketball:

Highlighted by road game at Arizona, UNLV basketball’s nonleague schedule is official


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV forward Khem Birch warms up before his first start as a Runnin’ Rebel against Cal State Bakersfield Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The UNLV basketball team’s nonconference schedule was finalized Tuesday, including a Dec. 7 game at Arizona to highlight the 13-game out-of-league slate.

With San Jose State and Utah State joining the Mountain West this season, the Rebels’ nonleague games were trimmed by two from last season.

UNLV will open with six consecutive games at the Thomas & Mack Center, starting Nov. 8 against Portland State. The stretch includes tough games Nov. 19 against Arizona State of the Pac-12 and Nov. 16 against Illinois of the Big-10. Arizona State won 22 games last season and has one of the nation’s top players in Jahii Carson; Illinois advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round and won 23 games in 2012-13.

Other home games in the stretch of six to open the season include: Nov. 12 against UC Santa Barbara, Nov. 26 against Nebraska-Omaha and Nov. 30 against Tennessee-Martin.

The Rebels then play on the road for the first time when they travel to Tucson to face Arizona, which advanced to the Sweet 16 last year and will be UNLV’s toughest challenge of the nonconference schedule.

The Rebels will play a second road game when they travel Dec. 14 to Southern Utah — a time of the season during which they search for nearby games with the Mack being occupied by the National Finals Rodeo.

They return to the Mack with home games in the preliminary rounds of the Las Vegas Classic, hosting Sacred Heart on Dec. 18 and Radford on Dec. 20. The event moves to the Orleans Arena days before Christmas, with UNLV playing Dec. 22 against Santa Clara. On Dec. 23, it will play either Mississippi State or South Florida.

The Rebels close the nonleague slate Dec. 28 at home against Cal State Fullerton.

“We have again put together a schedule that will challenge our team and prepare us for an extremely competitive conference,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said in a statement.

Game times, television appearances and the league schedule will be announced later.

Fans looking to purchase season tickets can call the Rebel Athletic Fund at 895-1533 or visit

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at

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  1. Looks like a much better out of conference schedule than last year. Good to see. I think it can only help in the long run

  2. Does anyone know if Louisville is still on the hook to come out here in the next season or so? Last I heard we were letting them off the hook...

  3. Well they have more top 300 RPI teams than top 100 RPI teams on the schedule. Lets just say this does not motivate me much to renew those season tickets.

  4. Does all this really matter when they will just get bounced out of the first round of the Big Dance?

  5. Vulcan, where are your seats? Be happy to take them off your hands.

  6. It will be sooo sweet to beat Arizona in their own house. Rice and his staff should hopefully be working on a strategy right now to exploit their weaknesses and our strengths. Are we faster? Are we bigger? Do we want it more? Can't wait for this one!

  7. @mickeyday - UNLV is faster, and Arizona is bigger. UNLV will have to be effective in pushing the tempo to win.

  8. Section 119.....they are in the balcony. I am sure you wont have a problem finding tickets there for this upcoming NIT season.