Runnin' Rebels' 2012-13 Non-Conference Schedule Announced
July 8, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Athletics has announced opponents and dates for the non-conference portion of its 2012-13 men's basketball season schedule. The Runnin' Rebels will face six teams during the non-conference season that played in the postseason last year, including three that earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The schedule is highlighted by the Global Sports Classic, which features Oregon, Cincinnati and Iowa State. The tournament will be hosted by UNLV and played at the Thomas & Mack Center. Other highlights include road games at California and at North Carolina.
"We are pleased to have put together a schedule that will challenge our team and prepare us for an extremely competitive conference," said head coach Dave Rice.
UNLV will host Dixie State in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 7, before beginning the regular season on Monday, Nov. 12, against Northern Arizona at the Thomas & Mack Center. On Saturday, Nov. 17, Jacksonville State will be the opponent, also at the T&M, as those first two games will be part of the preliminary rounds of the Global Sports Classic.
On Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, the Thomas & Mack Center will host four games each day as the Global Sports Classic wraps up. UNLV will face Oregon on Nov. 23, and will either play Cincinnati or Iowa State on Nov. 24. Oregon tied for second in the Pac-12 last season and advanced to the NIT's third round. Both Cincinnati and Iowa State played in last year's NCAA Tournament, the Bearcats advancing to the Sweet 16, while the Cyclones made the third round.
The Runnin' Rebels will continue their season-opening six-game homestand with UC Irvine on Wednesday, Nov. 28, then will conclude it against Hawaii on Saturday, Dec. 1.
UNLV's first road game of the 2012-13 season will be at Portland on Tuesday, Dec. 4, which will be a homecoming for All-American candidate Mike Moser. The Runnin' Rebels will then play at California on Sunday, Dec. 9. Cal also tied for second in the Pac-12 last year and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Runnin' Rebels will return to Las Vegas, but because the Thomas & Mack Center will be hosting the National Finals Rodeo, they will play La Verne at the Orleans Arena on Thursday, Dec. 13. UNLV will then head back out on the road and play at UTEP on Monday, Dec. 17, which is anticipated to be Khem Birch's first game as a Runnin' Rebel. Birch transferred to UNLV from Pitt prior to the Spring 2012 semester and must sit out the Fall 2012 semester as well.
UNLV will return to the Thomas & Mack Center for the first time in 18 days as it will host Northern Iowa in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge Series on Wednesday, Dec. 19. UNI advanced to the NIT's second round last year. The Runnin' Rebels will then host Canisius on Saturday, Dec. 22, before heading out for their final non-conference road trip of the regular season.
UNLV will travel to North Carolina to face the Tar Heels in the Dean Smith Center on Saturday, Dec. 29. UNC finished the 2011-12 season with an overall record of 32-6, winning the ACC regular-season title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8. It will mark UNLV's first-ever trip to Chapel Hill.
The Runnin' Rebels will close out their non-conference schedule at home against Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 3, and against CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Jan. 5. CSUB played in last year's postseason CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
All game times and television appearances, along with UNLV's Mountain West schedule will be announced in the future.
UNLV is coming off a 26-9 season in Rice's first year at the helm of the program. The 26 wins during the 2011-12 campaign were the most victories in a season by a first-year head coach in UNLV history.
The Runnin' Rebels played in their fifth NCAA Tournament in the last six seasons and defeated three top-25 teams last year, including a win over then-No. 1 North Carolina, marking their first victory over the nation's top-ranked team in 22 years and the first time a Mountain West school has ever defeated the No. 1 team in both polls.
The Runnin' Rebels were ranked for 13 straight weeks (14 overall), climbing as high as No. 11 in the country last season. UNLV was 17-1 at the Thomas & Mack Center, which included a perfect 17-0 mark during the regular season, its first undefeated home regular season in 20 years.
UNLV was in the top 25 in the nation in home attendance (No. 17) for the fourth straight year, and again was No. 1 on the West Coast. The team was second in the nation in assists per game last year (17.6) and also second in the country in percentage of field goals assisted at 65.4 percent.
The Runnin' Rebels return six letterwinners from last year's team, including starters Moser and Anthony Marshall. Moser, who is entering his junior season, was honorable mention Associated Press All-America and a unanimous First-Team All-Mountain West selection as a sophomore. Marshall, who is entering his senior campaign, was named to the All-MW Second Team. Both Moser and Marshall were selected to the league's all-defensive squad last year.
Also returning are seniors Justin Hawkins and Quintrell Thomas, along with junior Carlos Lopez. The Runnin' Rebels will welcome their six new scholarship players (Anthony Bennett, Daquan Cook, Savon Goodman, Demetris Morant, Katin Reinhardt and Roscoe Smith) to the roster for the 2012-13 season, plus Bryce Dejean-Jones, who redshirted in 2011-12 after transferring from USC, and Birch.
UNLV will get an early start to its new season next month as it prepares for its August foreign tour of Canada. The team's trip north of the border will begin on Thursday, Aug. 16, and the Runnin' Rebels will play four exhibition games during their stay in Ottawa and Montreal before returning to Las Vegas on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Practices in preparation for the trip will begin on Saturday, Aug. 4.
For information on purchasing season tickets in the lower plaza level, contact the Rebel Athletic Fund at 702-895-1533. For information on all other tickets, call 702-739-FANS or visit UNLVtickets.com.