Nevada Las Vegas, eliminated by Iowa in the second round last season, will try to begin a run in this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Assn. basketball tournament against Idaho today at Boise.
Idaho (25-5) upset Boise State on the same court in the final of the Big Sky Conference tournament to earn the league’s NCAA bid.
UNLV (26-7) has played well lately with the addition of forward Moses Scurry to the starting lineup and with improved offensive play from Stacey Augmon, who scored 67 points as the Rebels swept to three Big West Conference tournament victories last week.
Idaho is coached by Kermit Davis, who at 29 is the nation’s youngest Division I coach. He was an assistant under Tim Floyd until the end of last season, when Floyd left for the University of New Orleans.
The Vandals have made only two other NCAA appearances, in 1981 and 1982.
Raymond Brown, a senior forward, averages 16 points and eight rebounds a game for Idaho, and junior Riley Smith is at 16 points and seven rebounds.
UNLV, seeded fourth in the West Regional, will need two victories to set up a likely rematch against top-seeded Arizona, which beat the Rebels in early December, 86-75.
This is UNLV’s seventh consecutive tournament appearance. The Rebels last reached the Final Four in 1987.