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UC Santa Barbara at UNLV: Can The Gauchos Become UNLV Slayers Once More?

UNLV holds a 29-9 dominating record against the Gauchos, but they haven't beat UCSB at home since 1996. Is there another epic upset in the making?


To become a legend at UC Santa Barbara, you must become a UNLV Slayer.

- In 1988, Brian Shaw and company beat UNLV in conference twice, snapping the Runnin' Rebels home court 28-game win streak.

- On February 26, 1990, the Gauchos hosted the No. 1 Rebels...and beat them 78-70. The Rebels would go on to win the National Championship, as well as go undefeated in the regular season the next year.

- UNLV has not beaten UCSB at the Thomas & Mack since 1996, losing the last two matches 68-62 in 2010 and 79-76 in 2006 while in the midst of a 4-game losing streak.  That streak was snapped in 2011.

Fast-Forward to November 12, 2013

While this year's edition does not involve Jerry Pimm and Jerry Tarkanian, two legendary coaches who have been honored as such at their respective universities, it does feature Bob Williams and Dave Rice, two men who know recognize the history of this game. Williams is in his 16th year at UCSB, and has provided some of those wins against the Rebels. Dave Rice, on the other hand, while only in his second year coaching, played for UNLV from 1987-1991 and was part of that National Championship team.

The only meeting between these two head coaches in 2011, nearly resulted in yet another epic upset. The Rebels, having come off a huge victory against then No. 1 North Carolina, walked into the Thunderdome and barely escaped with a victory after double overtime, beating the Gauchos 94-88.

UNLV will not be at full strength tonight, although it was announced that Bryce Dejean-Jones would suit up for the Rebels. Look for Alan Williams and Kyle Boswell to create havoc for the Rebels defense tonight. The Gauchos are experienced, which gives them a good advantage, despite being 9-point underdogs.

My Prediction: UCSB 76, UNLV 74