UNLV Athletics announced the non-conference portion of its 2019-20 men’s basketball schedule Wednesday.
Highlighted by games against five teams that made postseason appearances last season, including three defending conference champions, this year’s non-conference slate features games against Kansas State, Cincinnati, UCLA, BYU, California and SMU.
The strongest non-conference schedule for the Runnin’ Rebels in four years (based on 2018-19 final NET Rankings) also includes the highest number of Quadrant 1 & 2 opponents (also based on 2018-19 final NET Rankings) for UNLV since the NCAA introduced the tracking system. Additionally, the Runnin’ Rebels will play three true road games during non-conference action, the squad’s most in three years.
“We are excited about our schedule,” said UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger, who is entering his first season leading the program. “It will be competitive and challenge our team as we prepare for Mountain West play. Our goal is to continually strengthen our schedule each year and we look forward to playing against some of the best teams in the country.”
The Runnin’ Rebels’ 2019-20 season will begin with three straight games at the Thomas & Mack Center starting with an exhibition contest against West Coast Baptist College on Friday, October 25.
The regular-season opener will take place on Tuesday, November 5 against Purdue Fort Wayne followed by a visit from defending regular-season Big 12 Champion Kansas State on Saturday, November 9. The Wildcats, who finished the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 25-9 and a conference mark of 14-4, earned their first league title in six years and second under head coach Bruce Weber. K-State finished the regular season ranked No. 19 in the country and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Runnin’ Rebels will then head to California for their first road contests of the year to face back-to-back Pac-12 foes: at Cal on Tuesday, November 12 and at UCLA on Friday, November 15. Both programs are also under first-year head coaches in Mark Fox and Mick Cronin, respectively. Fox previously was head coach at UNR then Georgia, while Cronin came from Cincinnati.
UNLV will then return home to the Thomas & Mack Center for four straight games: vs. Abilene Christian on Monday, November 18, Texas State on Wednesday, November 20, SMU on Saturday, November 23 and Jackson State on Tuesday, November 26. Abilene Christian turned in a 27-7 overall mark last season, finished second in the Southland Conference and won its league tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Texas State was 24-10, finished second in the Sun Belt Conference and participated in the CIT.
After Thanksgiving, UNLV will make a trip to the East to play at Cincinnati on Saturday, November 30. The Bearcats were 28-7 overall last season and finished second in the American Athletic Conference with a top-25 national ranking. Cincinnati also appeared in the NCAA Tournament after claiming its conference’s tournament championship.
UNLV will face BYU at a neutral site in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, December 7, which will mark its final game before finals week. The Cougars tied for second in the West Coast Conference last season.
The Runnin’ Rebels will close out the non-conference schedule with three games at home: vs. Pacific on Wednesday, December 18, Robert Morris on Saturday, December 21 and Eastern Michigan on Saturday, December 28. Robert Morris finished third in the Northeast Conference and advanced to the CIT’s second round.
The Mountain West schedule will be announced soon. All game times and television appearances will be shared upon confirmation.
Click here for the 2019-20 non-conference schedule on UNLVRebels.com
TICKETS: Runnin’ Rebel season tickets are on sale now and start as low as $119. To purchase, visit UNLVtickets.com, call 702-739-FANS (3267) or visit the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office.
UNLV Men’s Basketball’s 2019-20 Non-Conference Schedule
Fri., Oct. 25 West Coast Baptist (exhibition) Thomas & Mack Center
Tues., Nov. 5 Purdue Fort Wayne Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Nov. 9 Kansas State Thomas & Mack Center
Tues., Nov. 12 at California Berkeley, California
Fri., Nov. 15 at UCLA Los Angeles, California
Mon., Nov. 18 Abilene Christian Thomas & Mack Center
Wed., Nov. 20 Texas State Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Nov. 23 SMU Thomas & Mack Center
Tues., Nov. 26 Jackson State Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Nov. 30 at Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio
Sat., Dec. 7 vs. BYU Salt Lake City, Utah
Wed., Dec. 18 Pacific Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Dec. 21 Robert Morris Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Dec. 28 Eastern Michigan Thomas & Mack Center