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Reliving Jerry Tarkanian and UNLV's 1990 national title win over Duke

UNLV fans held up signs for Jerry Tarkanian during UNLV's victory over Jerry Tarkanian's alma mater, Fresno State, on Tuesday.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

With the passing of Jerry Tarkanian on Wednesday, UNLV lost its legend. Tarkanian created the Runnin’ Rebels and it was never more evident than in the beat down UNLV put on Duke in the 1990 National Championship game.

UNLV crushed the Blue Devils 103-73, still the largest margin in title game history. Tarkanian’s squad shot 61.2 percent from the floor and scored 1.27 points per possession, better than UNLV’s season average of 1.13 points per possession.

Anderson Hunt filled up the basket with 29 points on 12 of 16 shooting, and when UNLV needed half court offense, Hunt was the man. He scored three times off this down screen set that got him open for three.

But the defensive side of the ball is where UNLV dominated this game. The high pressure defense forced 23 Duke turnovers. Point guard Bobby Hurley could only find relief by backing towards half court to start the offense.

DUKE O 1990

Those 23 turnovers led to plenty of fast break opportunities for UNLV, like this sweet Stacey Augmon reverse dunk.

UNLV didn’t stop, the Rebels ran Duke right out of the building and into the first national championship in Rebels history.

Larry Johnson had the game's only double double with 22 points (8 of 12 shooting) and 11 rebounds. Augmon had 12 points and seven assists, while Greg Anthony dropped 13 points and six assists. The full box score can be seen here.

It was a night where everything went right for UNLV. Tarkanian’s high pressure style was perfected against Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils. Tark’s recipe never tasted so sweet.

That’s an incredible graphic used by CBS during the game. The whole game can be seen below thanks to NCAA on Demand’s YouTube page.

Finally a couple of awesome pictures from UNLV’s 30-point romp.

shark hat

UNLV gave away Santa hats this season when they upset Arizona just before Christmas. Shark hats would be so much better.

shirt 1990

Tarkanian emptied his bench – Dave Rice went 0 of 2 in two minutes! – which meant the starters watched the game finish. So they started the celebration early by putting on these shirts with a minute left in the game.

Jerry Tarkanian is gone, but the performance of his Runnin’ Rebels in the biggest game will always be one of the best in NCAA history.