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Sports Then and Now



In 2020, A Mid-Major Could Win The NCAA Championship For The First Time In 30 Years 0

Posted on January 25, 2020 by Dan Karpuc
UNLV won the 1990 NCAA Men’s Basketball title representing the Big West Conference.

The last time a mid-major program won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, George H.W. Bush was the President of the United States. The 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels of the Big West Conference became the second mid-major in NCAA history to cut down the nets in that Tournament, joining the 1986 Louisville Cardinals, who were members of the Metro Conference at the time. Since then, just 13 mid-major teams have advanced to the Final Four and five have lost in the National Championship Game. Most recently Loyla-Chicago’s magical Final Four run as an 11th seed in 2018 captured the hearts of America. But, perhaps more than any time since 1990, there’s a strong likelihood that a mid-major program wins it all in 2020. 

Just one undefeated squad currently remains (No. 4 San Diego State: 19-0) and just two other teams in the AP Top 25 have only one loss (No. 1 Baylor: 15-1 and No. 2 Gonzaga: 20-1). A whopping 19 other teams in the Top 25 have three-plus losses, which is a clear indication that parity is at an all-time high. Even the experts who give out college basketball picks are having a tough time finding wins this year.Of those Top 25 teams, just Baylor and Gonzaga are undefeated against their ranked opponents, as well. Further, those two teams, along with San Diego State and No. 7 Dayton, are the only teams in the Top 25 with a perfect road record. 

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Runnin’ Rebels Fall Just Short In NCAA Tournament 0

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Richard Marsh

Northern Iowa v UNLV

Tre'Von Willis and the Runnin' Rebels could not pull out a victory in their NCAA Tournament opener against Northern Iowa.

Junior forward and UNLV’s team leader Tre’Von Willis put it best. “Losing in the first round is a little disappointing,” Willis said. “But overall, we had a good season. We’re definitely going to have our good days ahead of us.”

That is exactly what this Rebels fan and reporter will focus on within the scope of this report.

Yes,surely the 69-66 loss to a very good Northern Iowa team was disappointing and yes there were enough flaws in the Rebels performance that the outcome was anticipated early enough in the game when the Runnin’ Rebels jumped out to an eight point lead, despite some very erratic shooting, and couldn’t continue the onslaught.

Let’s give the Northern Iowa Panthers credit. They played a very smart defensive game which is their signature and when it came down to the last 11 seconds left in a tie game with no time outs remaining, they were able to find an open man 26 feet from the basket and Ali Farokhmanesh, try saying that name five times fast, simply fired away to put the Panthers up by three. Read the rest of this entry →

NCAA vs. UNLV: Is it a Conspiracy? 10

Posted on March 17, 2010 by Richard Marsh

Is the NCAA still punishing UNLV for the antics of Jerry Tarkanian?

Is the NCAA still punishing UNLV for the antics of Jerry Tarkanian?

Of course there is but more on that in a little bit.

First off I am not what you call a “Conspiracy Theorist”. Well maybe a little bit. Like, sure there wasn’t another shooter on the grassy knoll. Like, Amelia Earhart really lost her way. Like all the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle can be explained. Like Elvis is really dead. Now that one I know is not true. Here in Vegas I see Elvis at least three to four times a day, sometimes even in two places at once.

You tell me what dead person could do that. Oh and by the way here’s two more I’ll let you in on but don’t spread the word or I might be found just outside of town in an area called The Valley of Fire. Tupac’s alive for sure plus sports players never bet on games and know that Jeb Bush had nothing to do with the results of the 2000 election results in Florida. Duh, the guy with most votes lost.

With the 2010 NCAA Tournament on the verge of sending sports fans everywhere into March Madness my 20 year old nagging conspiracy that the powers that be in the NCAA land continues it’s life long vengeance against the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

This body of old, decrepit individuals really can hold a grudge. Geez!

Lets go back a little more than a generation ago. If you think of the City of Las Vegas to be “Sin City” now try to imagine when the town was run by the Mob, known in some circles as the Cosa Nostra, the Mafia, the Godfathers, that thing of ours, and my favorite, the Little Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Hell our current Mayor, Oscar (“I was not a mob lawyer”) Goodman was THE mob lawyer for Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Seigal. No he wasn’t but it sounds good, doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

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