UNLV tries to bounce back from a road loss at Air Force when it hosts Boise State tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center. But the contest between the Rebels and Broncos will play second fiddle to what happens off the court before and after the contest.
UNLV will hold a special pregame tribute in honor of legendary Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian, who passed away on Feb. 11, beginning at 7:45. Fans attending the contest, who are encouraged to wear black for a “blackout”, also will receive a special commemorative towel honoring Tark the Shark and the Rebels will wear their black uniforms with a special Tark patch on them.
Then at 10:30 p.m. lights on the Las Vegas Strip and other businesses around town as well as the iconic arch in Reno will dim their lights for three minutes to honor Tarkanian’s memory. Tarkanian joins President John F. Kennedy, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, George Burns, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and President Ronald Reagan in receiving the tribute.
Credit a strong grassroots social media campaign on Twitter (#DimLights4Tark) and Facebook (Dim The Lights For Tark) spearheaded by UNLV alums Tony Cordasco and Scott Gulbransen for helping engineer the rare light dimming tribute for Tarkanian, who coached UNLV to the 1990 national title and four Final Four appearances.
UNLV (14-11, 5-7), which is in eighth place in the Mountain West Conference, lost its first game against Boise State (18-7, 8-4) in overtime, 82-73, back on Jan. 14. The Broncos, who will be without guard Mikey Thompson who is suspended for a violation of team rules, are 0-4 all-time against the Rebels at the Thomas & Mack.