LAS VEGAS– A rivalry will be renewed when UNLV plays BYU on Saturday, Dec. 15 at T-Mobile Arena as part of a nationally televised doubleheader that includes LSU vs. Saint Mary’s. The event, dubbed the Neon Hoops Showcase, is now in its sixth year in Las Vegas as a benefit for Coaches vs. Cancer.
UNLV and BYU have not played each other since 2011 when both teams were members of the Mountain West Conference. The Runnin’ Rebels, coming off a 20-win season, are playing on the Las Vegas Strip for the fifth straight year. In 2016, UNLV opened T-Mobile Arena to college basketball before a record crowd of more than 19,000 versus Duke. Last season, coach Marvin Menzies raised the championship belt for the MGM Resorts Main Event on the same floor, defeating Utah in the title game.
“We are excited to continue our tradition of playing on the Las Vegas Strip in December,” said UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies. “UNLV and BYU have a strong basketball history and Coach Rose’s program has been successful for so many years. It will certainly be a challenge. We have had strong support from our fans in Las Vegas away from the Thomas & Mack Center and look forward to being at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 15.”
BYU finished 24-11 last season, the 13th straight year with 20+ wins and postseason play for coach Dave Rose. The Cougars will be led by junior forward Yoeli Childs, who came back after testing the NBA Draft.
“We have a great history with UNLV so we’re excited to renew that rivalry and to support Coaches vs. Cancer,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “Coach Menzies has a talented team and it’s always a challenge playing UNLV in Vegas. It will be a great test for our team and we are excited to see all of our Vegas BYU fans at the game.”
LSU is widely expected to be a Top-25 team this season powered by a Top-5 recruiting class and All-SEC Freshman guard Tremont Waters. The Tigers will face a Saint Mary’s squad that was left out of the NCAA Tournament despite a 28-5 record on Selection Sunday. The LSU game marks the second trip to Vegas for the Gaels next season with SMC also playing in the MGM Resorts Main Event during Thanksgiving week.
The doubleheader will be televised on ESPN Networks. UNLV-BYU will tip at 5:30 p.m. PT on either ESPNEWS or ESPN3 following by LSU-St. Mary’s which will be shown on ESPNU. The event benefits Coaches vs. Cancer, an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.nabc.com) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).
Tickets will be made available to UNLV season ticket holders at a discounted rate through a private sale. Runnin’ Rebel season ticket holders will be contacted by UNLV with details. Tickets will be available to the public starting Friday, Aug. 31 and can be purchased at AXS.com, t-mobilearena.com, neonhoopsvegas.com or by calling 888-9AXSTIX.