LAS VEGAS – Tickets for the highly anticipated UNLV-Duke game on Saturday, Dec. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas go on-sale to the public starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. The two iconic programs will play the first college basketball game in the new arena and will meet for the first time in 25 years since battling in consecutive Final Fours in the early ‘90s.
“We are excited for the opportunity of having a showcase game with two of the elite programs in college basketball,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said at last week’s announcement. “The games two decades ago between UNLV and Duke were some of the best in the history of the sport.”
For UNLV, the game provides an opportunity to showcase the Runnin’ Rebels versus the likely top-ranked team in the nation before a national audience on ESPN for first-year coach Marvin Menzies.
“It’s one of those opportunities, when you look at it from a program’s perspective, this is great for our guys,” Menzies said. “Trust me, they’ve already earmarked it on their calendars. They’ll be excited to play.”
The duel between the two teams is one that Runnin’ Rebel fans have waited to see for 25 years. UNLV captured the school’s lone national championship by beating Duke by a national title game-record 30 points in the 1990 Final Four. The following season, the Runnin’ Rebels started the season 34-0 before facing Duke in the national semifinals in Indianapolis. In one of the most monumental upsets in NCAA Tournament history, the Blue Devils knocked off the Rebels 79-77 and then won the first national championship for Coach Krzyzewski two days later.
“Everybody says, ‘You beat us,’ but do you know what happened the year before?” Krzyzewski said. “It’s the biggest loss in the history of the NCAA championship, and I was part of that game. I’m not sentimental about it. I’m proud that we were in two Final Four games. Every program should be proud if they played in a Final Four. And that year, even though we lost, I was proud that we were in the championship game. They were by far the better team.”
The event, now in its fourth year after being played previously at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, 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).
“We are winning battles but there has to be a sustained effort to win the war against cancer,” Krzyzewski said of the cause. “Money raised is important but the awareness raised is even more important because that gets us all going in the right direction in the fight against this dreadful disease.”
Tickets can be purchase at the T-Mobile Arena box office, t-mobilearena.com, AXS.com, UNLVDuke.com or by calling 888-9AXS-TIX. Tickets are also available for season tickets holders and donors through the respective ticket offices of both schools.
For complete information, visit www.unlvduke.com or follow on Twitter at @NeonHoops.