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Why do the media outlets in Southern Nevada continue to label the University of Nevada as UNR?

A look at tonight’s in-state match-up.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado State at Nevada Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The 21st ranked Nevada Wolf Pack will be visiting the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas, today, to face the struggling UNLV Running Rebels, losers of their last three games. The Wolf Pack beat the Colorado State Rams in Reno on Sunday to claim at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular season crown. With a win today or in San Diego on Saturday they won’t have to share the title with anyone else. Nevada is having a great season and they will be looking to build on it with a road win in Vegas.

Even the Las Vegas sports writers are giving Eric Musselman and the Wolf Pack the props that they deserve for having such an outstanding season and for becoming the premier basketball program in the state of Nevada. But what they won’t give them is the respect of calling them the University of Nevada.

All of the Vegas media continues to refer to the state university in the north as UNR. This is done to slight the Pack. It is a form of living in the glory days when UNLV dominated the basketball world not only in Nevada but the entire West coast. But those days left the day Robert Maxon showed Jerry Tarkanian the door. Yet, the UNLV fans and media can’t stop living in the past and continue to treat the Wolf Pack and their fans with disrespect with the UNR reference. Sure they try to argue that both universities are the University of Nevada but only one refers to themselves as Nevada the other has chosen the label UNLV.

The UNLV brand is still nationally recognized because of the Tarkanian years. UNLV will never refer to itself as the University of Nevada. One day they will figure out that by continuing to refer to Pack as UNR it only makes them look like the little guys.

The UNLV athletic department has called for a red-out for this game. If attendance today is like it has been lately in Las Vegas that will mean about 10,000 fans if they are lucky and a bunch of red chairs. With the Pack doing so well and having many Battle Blue alums in Clark County half of the 10,000 in the seats might be wearing Battle Blue and taking over the Thomas and Mack.

UNLV won the last meeting in Reno by shocking the Pack who was missing their number one scoring option in Caleb Martin. This time around the Pack will be missing Lindsay Drew but Nevada is still rolling without him. Coach Musselman has turned Cody Martin into a point forward and Martin is not just getting by he is excelling at initiating the offense for the Pack.

Nevada is a lock for the NCAA tournament, and continues to play for seeding. Joe Lunardi currently has them rising as a six seed in the West bracket. I think they should be at least a four seed but there is a certain bias against the Mountain West and that will only change when the MW starts scheduling tougher games in the non-conference schedule and winning those tough games on the road and of course advancing past the first day in the NCAA Tournament.

Three keys for Wolf Pack to win in Las Vegas:

1. Nevada needs to be able to win the battle of the three point line. The team that shoots the best and defends against the three the best will win this game.

2. Nevada needs to be able to get their share of rebounds against the dynamic duo of Shakur Juiston and Brandon McCoy. McCoy didn’t have a great game in Reno because of foul trouble. Nevada is a well coached team. Expect them to go after McCoy with Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins.

3. Win the turnover battle. UNLV is known to shoot themselves in the foot by turning the ball over at critical times. If Nevada can limit their own unforced errors they can expect UNLV to commit enough to give them an advantage.

I anticipate Nevada winning this game by double digits but I don’t expect the Las Vegas media to show them the respect they deserve by calling them the Nevada Wolf Pack after their Rebels get beat. It must sound better to them saying that they got beat by UNR.