UNLV’S 2021-22 NON-CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Runnin’ Rebels to face up to five teams that made postseason appearances last season; Legends Freddie Banks and Robert Smith to be honored at games this season
UNLV Athletics announced the non-conference portion of its 2021-22 men’s basketball schedule Wednesday. Additionally, it also announced that former men’s basketball student-athletes and Runnin’ Rebel legends Freddie Banks and Robert Smith will be honored with jersey retirements.
Highlighted by games against as many as five schools that made the postseason last year, UCLA, Michigan, Arizona or Wichita State and Cal are all featured opponents in Las Vegas this season. UNLV will also play two road games during the non-conference slate, traveling to SMU and San Francisco.
“Our non-conference schedule will be very challenging with tough games at home at the Thomas & Mack Center, here in Las Vegas on the Strip, and also on the road,” said first-year head coach Kevin Kruger. “We are looking forward to being back playing in front of our fans and this schedule will prepare us well for an extremely competitive Mountain West season.”
Banks, who starred for UNLV from 1983-87 and helped lead the Runnin’ Rebels to the 1987 Final Four will be honored during the UCLA game on Saturday, November 27 at the Thomas & Mack Center, while Smith, who many say is the best point guard to ever wear a UNLV uniform (1974-77) and led the team to its first Final Four in 1977, will be honored on Saturday, February 19 vs. Colorado State.
Although their jerseys will hang from the TMC rafters, their numbers will not be retired and will remain available for current players to wear.
“We are very much looking forward to honoring these two Runnin’ Rebel legends,” Kruger said. “Freddie and Robert both had incredible careers at UNLV and have been amazing ambassadors for our university and the men’s basketball program. They are both very deserving and those will be two special nights for them, their families and the fans.”
The Runnin’ Rebels’ 2021-22 season will begin with seven straight games in Las Vegas, starting with the first three at the Thomas & Mack Center: against Gardner Webb from the Big South Conference on Wednesday, November 10, vs. Cal from the Pac-12 on Saturday, November 13, and North Dakota State from the Summit League on Monday, November 15.
The Cal game will mark the fifth time that the Golden Bears will play at UNLV as the Runnin’ Rebels own a 3-1 all-time mark against them at home. UNLV will look to avenge its overtime loss two seasons ago in Berkeley, California.
UNLV will then head over to the world famous Las Vegas Strip to compete in the Roman Main Event, featuring Michigan, Arizona and Wichita State at T-Mobile Arena. The Runnin’ Rebels will face the Wolverines, who won the Big Ten’s regular-season title last year and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, on Friday, November 19 at 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2). On Sunday, November 21, UNLV will then face either Arizona or Wichita State at 6:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. Wichita State won the American Athletic Conference title last season and played in the NCAA Tournament’s First Four. Arizona is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Pac-12.
UNLV will return to the Thomas & Mack Center to host Whittier College on Wednesday, November 24 before its most anticipated home game of the non-conference season against UCLA. The Bruins from the Pac-12, are coming off a NCAA Final Four appearance last season. It will mark UCLA’s third visit to the Thomas & Mack Center and first since 1997. The Rebels played the Bruins in Westwood two seasons ago.
The Runnin’ Rebels will head out on the road for the first time to play at SMU on Wednesday, December 1, then play at San Francisco, from the West Coast Conference, on Saturday, December 4. SMU finished fourth in the AAC last season and was invited to the NIT. It will mark UNLV’s first time playing at Moody Coliseum in Dallas since the two schools were both members of the Western Athletic Conference in 1999.
UNLV will return to Las Vegas and will play Seattle from the Western Athletic Conference, and Hartford from the America East Conference, on Wednesday, December 8 and Saturday, December 11, respectively, with both games being played at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob Ultra Arena. Hartford won last season’s AEC Tournament title and played in the NCAA Tournament.
The Runnin’ Rebels will close out non-conference action with two games at the Thomas & Mack Center: against Omaha from the Summit League on Wednesday, December 15, and the WCC’s San Diego on Wednesday, December 22.
The Mountain West schedule was announced last month. Additional game times and television appearances will be announced upon confirmation.
TICKETS: Runnin’ Rebel season tickets are on sale now and start as low as $119. To purchase, visit UNLVtickets.com or call 702-739-FANS (3267).
Games at T-Mobile Arena and Michelob Ultra Arena on the Las Vegas Strip are not included in the season ticket package.
UNLV MEN’S BASKETBALL 2021-22 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Wed., Nov. 10 Gardner Webb Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Nov. 13 Cal Thomas & Mack Center
Mon., Nov. 15 North Dakota State Thomas & Mack Center
Fri., Nov. 19 Michigan * T-Mobile Arena
Sun., Nov. 21 Arizona or Wichita St. * T-Mobile Arena
Wed., Nov. 24 Whittier College Thomas & Mack Center
Sat., Nov. 27 UCLA Thomas & Mack Center
Wed., Dec. 1 at SMU Dallas, Texas
Sat., Dec. 4 at San Francisco San Francisco, California
Wed., Dec. 8 Seattle Michelob Ultra Arena, Mandalay Bay
Sat., Dec. 11 Hartford Michelob Ultra Arena, Mandalay Bay
Wed., Dec. 15 Omaha Thomas & Mack Center
Wed., Dec. 22 San Diego Thomas & Mack Center
* Roman Main Event