This comes from I am the 12th man: Nevada is not a hugely populous state, and they are far from a recruiting hotbed, but their location can be advantageous for recruiting. Both Oklahoma (Lynn McGruder) and Texas (Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph) have recruited athletes from Nevada for football and basketball, so it isn't like it is an athletic wasteland. Oklahoma recruits California, and being able to guarantee parents a game within driving distance from California would help all conference schools in recruiting the Golden State. There is a desire of some fanbases (OU and Texas Tech in particular) to be aligned with the Pac-12, and if you can't be in California and in the Pac-12, having a school near them to leverage your recruiting might be the next best thing. Big 12 schools will be able to sell recruits in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri on getting to travel to Sin City every other year, and a chance to play on the West Coast. The addition of UNLV would also be a chance for the Big 12 to nationalize their brand, and increase their exposure in the Pacific Time Zone.