Duke and USA Basketball National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies at Mendenhall Center on Thursday, July 21 photo by Jeremy Rincon Duke and USA Basketball National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNLV head coach Marvin Menzies Press Conference for Dec. 10 2016 Matchup
UNLV VS. DUKE WILL BE FIRST COLLEGE BASKETBALL GAME PLAYED IN NEW T-MOBILE ARENA
Runnin’ Rebels & Blue Devils will play for the first time since the 1991 Final Four
LAS VEGAS (July 21, 2016) – A rivalry will be renewed when UNLV plays Duke on Saturday, Dec. 10 in the first college basketball game to be played at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as part of the fourth-annual MGM Grand Showcase, which benefits Coaches vs. Cancer. The two iconic programs have not played since the programs battled in consecutive Final Fours in the early ‘90s.
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 Mike Krzyzewski two days later.
“Duke basketball is honored for the opportunity to play the first college game at T-Mobile Arena against a storied UNLV program,” said Krzyzewski, head coach of both Duke and the United State National Team. “It will be an exciting event for both programs and their great fans.”
Duke will enter the season as the projected top-ranked team in the nation. The Blue Devils return All-American candidate Grayson Allen and add the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class, which includes Harry Giles, the top incoming freshman in America, and Jayson Tatum, the No. 3-ranked player in the class. New UNLV coach Marvin Menzies has just as many fresh faces on his roster that features nine new players. UNLV will be bolstered by returning sophomore guard Jalen Poyser and junior forward Dwayne Morgan.
“We are excited to be a part of the first college basketball game played at the beautiful new T-Mobile Arena and are happy that our fans will have the chance to be a part of it,” said Menzies. “UNLV has a lot of history with Duke, one of the elite programs in the country. We have the highest level of respect for Coach Krzyzewski and his history of success. It will be quite a challenge, but we are looking forward to it.”
Over the past decade, Las Vegas has become arguably the basketball capital of the world. The city now hosts USA Basketball, NBA Summer League, NBA preseason games, thousands of youth travel teams each summer, postseason tournaments for four college basketball conferences and a season-ending college basketball tournament. The opening of T-Mobile Arena will only enhance the city’s appeal to the basketball world and attract the best in the game to Vegas.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to open T-Mobile Arena to college hoops with a game that all of Las Vegas will want to see, said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global (www.bdglobalsports.com), the event promoter Duke may very well come to Vegas with a No. 1 ranking and I fully expect the Rebel fans to pack the arena for what we expect to be an electric environment on Dec. 10th.”
This year’s game marks the third consecutive year UNLV will play in the Showcase, which 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). Last season, the Runnin’ Rebels defeated No. 15 Oregon in a raucous game at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Tickets will be made available to UNLV season ticket holders at a discounted rate through a private sale. Information for Runnin’ Rebel season ticket holders will be announced in the next week. Tickets will be available to the public starting Saturday, July 30 and can be purchased at the T-Mobile Arena box office, t-mobilearena.com, AXS.com,mgmgrandshowcase.com or by calling 888-AXS-TIX.
For complete information, visit www.unlvduke.com or follow on Twitter at @NeonHoops.
About bd Global:
bd Global, LLC is a representation, event management, and public relations firm operating on an international platform within the sports marketing industry. bdG manages multiple college basketball events in the United States each season, and previously has managed events across North America and the Caribbean, including college basketball events in Phoenix, Boston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Southwest Florida, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas. www.bdglobalsports.com.
About T-Mobile Arena:
T-Mobile Arena, the new 20,000-seat venue located on the Las Vegas Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, opened April 6, 2016. The arena will host more than 100 events annually including major headline entertainment, awards shows, UFC, boxing, basketball and other sporting events, family shows and special events. T-Mobile Arena will welcome a National Hockey League expansion team in the fall of 2017 – Las Vegas’ first professional sports team. The city’s newest landmark features 50 luxury suites, more than two dozen private loge boxes, complete broadcast facilities, and other specially designed exclusive hospitality offerings and fan amenities destined to create a guest experience second to none. Toshiba Plaza, an adjacent two-acre outdoor entertainment space, features performance stages, a variety of video screens and other interactive content and display areas. Industry-leading architect Populous designed T-Mobile Arena to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification. T-Mobile Arena is a privately funded joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information visit the T-Mobile Arena website at www.t-mobilearena.com.
About Coaches vs. Cancer:
The Coaches vs. Cancer program empowers coaches, their teams, and communities to join the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities. Guided by the Coaches vs. Cancer Council, participating coaches help people with cancer today and to find cures to end the disease tomorrow, and have raised more than $87 million to help the American Cancer Society’s mission.