BY STEVE GUIREMAND
UNLV released its 2014-15 Mountain West Conference basketball schedule on Wednesday and the Runnin’ Rebels will once again begin league play on the road.
The good news is Dave Rice’s squad won’t have to spend New Year’s Eve in Fresno like it did a year ago before beginning Mountain West play with a noon start — and a win — against the Bulldogs on Jan. 1.
The bad news? Instead the Rebels get to spend New Year’s Eve in Laramie, Wyo., where they face Mountain West sleeper Wyoming in their conference opener.
Times for all the Mountain West games still are TBA due to TV. So there’s still the possibility UNLV can play an afternoon game, jump on a charter and make it back to Las Vegas in plenty of time to ring in the new year. Or they can start practicing the lyrics to “Cotton-Eye Joe” (See VIDEO, story continues BELOW).
The Mountain West opener comes five days before UNLV’s much-anticipated non-conference road trip to Kansas on Sunday, Jan. 4.
The Rebels then play four of their next six conference games at home beginning with a Jan. 7 date with Nevada at the Thomas & Mack Center. After a Jan. 10 home game with San Jose State, UNLV has tough back-to-back road games at Boise State (Jan. 13) and conference favorite San Diego State (Jan. 17) before returning home for games against New Mexico (Jan. 21) and Utah State (Jan. 24).
UNLV’s one-time opponents for the unbalanced conference season are Colorado State (will not host the Rams) and Fresno State (will not play the Bulldogs on the road). The Runnin’ Rebels’ lone bye date will be on Wednesday, Feb. 4. UNLV will play at Kansas instead of having a second bye date this season.
2014-15 UNLV Men’s Basketball Schedule
Nov. 5 vs. Florida National (exhibition), Thomas & Mack Center
Nov. 14 vs. TBA #, Thomas & Mack Center
Nov. 16 vs. TBA #, Thomas & Mack Center
Nov. 21 vs. Stanford #, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Nov. 22 vs. Duke or Temple #, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Nov. 29 vs. Albany, Thomas & Mack Center
Dec. 3 at Arizona State, Tempe, Ariz.
Dec. 5 vs. St. Katherine, Orleans Arena
Dec. 13 vs. South Dakota, Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Dec. 17 vs. Portland, Thomas & Mack Center
Dec. 20 vs. Utah ^, MGM Grand Garden Arena
Dec. 23 vs. Arizona, Thomas & Mack Center
Dec. 27 vs. Southern Utah, Thomas & Mack Center
Dec. 31 at Wyoming *, Laramie, Wyo.
Jan. 4 at Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
Jan. 7 vs. Nevada, Reno *, Thomas & Mack Center
Jan. 10 vs. San José State *, Thomas & Mack Center
Jan. 13 at Boise State *, Boise, Idaho
Jan. 17 at San Diego State *, San Diego, Calif.
Jan. 21 vs. New Mexico *, Thomas & Mack Center
Jan. 24 vs. Utah State *, Thomas & Mack Center
Jan. 27 OR /28 at Nevada, Reno *, Reno, Nev.
Jan. 31 vs. Air Force *, Thomas & Mack Center
Feb. 7 at Colorado State *, Fort Collins, Colo.
Feb. 10 vs. Fresno State *, Thomas & Mack Center
Feb. 14 at Air Force *, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Feb. 18 vs. Boise State *, Thomas & Mack Center
Feb. 21 at New Mexico *, Albuquerque, N.M.
Feb. 24 at Utah State *, Logan, Utah
Feb. 28 vs. Wyoming *, Thomas & Mack Center
March 4 vs. San Diego State *, Thomas & Mack Center
March 7 at San José State *, San José, Calif.
March 11-14, MW Tournament, Thomas & Mack Center
# Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (Full field will be released later)
^ MGM Grand Showcase (doubleheader – other game: Oklahoma vs. Washington, 6 PM, ESPNU)
* Mountain West game