UNLV released all the details of the Runnin' Rebels' non-conference games Monday, which is highlighted by two games against teams that are expected to be ranked in the top 10. December 23rd at the Thomas & Mack Center against Arizona and January 4th at Kansas.
It will be a great challenge for the Rebels as they'll face at least five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year before heading into what should be another tough slate of Mountain West conference play.
"We have put together an extremely challenging schedule for our young team this year," head coach Dave Rice said "It should assist us as we prepare for another grueling Mountain West slate."
UNLV's roster has underwent a major overhaul after finishing with a 20-13 record in a season in which they failed to make the NCAA Tournament. Eight newcomers will be joining the Rebels this season, three of which include McDonald's All American Rashad Vaughn, Goodluck Okonoboh and Dwayne Morgan. A recruiting class that ranked No. 4 nationally by Rivals.com.
A notable match-up that would certainly draw national attention is the potential contest against Duke in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn. It would be the first time the two teams faced each other since meeting in consecutive Final Fours in 1990 and 1991. The latter of which saw the Blue Devils end the Runnin' Rebels' undefeated season.
It may be a difficult road ahead for UNLV, but if they can prove themselves against talented opponents both non-conference and within the Mountain West, there's no question they will return to the NCAA Tournament.
UNLV's full non-conference schedule:
Nov. 5 Florida National (Ex.)
Nov. 14 TBA- Home game (Coaches vs. Cancer)
Nov. 16 TBA- Home game (Coaches vs. Cancer)
Nov. 21 Stanford (Brooklyn)
Nov. 22 Duke/Temple (Brooklyn)
Nov. 29 Albany
Dec. 3 at Arizona State
Dec. 5 St. Katherine (Orleans Arena)
Dec. 13 South Dakota (Sioux Falls)
Dec. 17 Portland
Dec. 20 Utah (MGM Grand)
Dec. 23 Arizona
Jan. 4 at Kansas