Kudos to the CSU men’s basketball team for sending the 23rd ranked UNLV Runnin’ Rebels home with a loss on Saturday night. When I was in college, Jerry Tarkanian was the coach of Nevada-Las Vegas. Like Bobby Knight at Indiana, Jerry was one of those brash, highly successful coaches I always rooted against, even though UNLV and CSU were not even in the same conference back then. I’ve since ditched my ‘80s perm and shoulder pads, but I still love it when my alma mater beats UNLV, especially in a nail-biter at a packed Moby Arena.
The students were back from winter break, doing whatever good luck free-throw thing they do with their arms. The Ram-meter was flashing and snorting. New head coach Larry Eustachy appears to be earning his keep, as the team looked pretty sharp and is performing very well in a number of sporty-sounding statistics such as scoring margin and rebounding offense. The Rams’ current 24-game home win streak is 4th in the nation, behind powerhouses Syracuse and Kansas…and South Dakota State (about whom I know absolutely nothing).
The only small bummer is that the less-expensive general-admission seats are apparently a thing of the past, just like the towel Coach Tarkanian used to use to wipe his sweaty bald head. Every seat is now reserved, which means that even the people in the nosebleeds have to pay…well, through the nose compared to prior years. I understand about money and athletics, but I also know that this makes it harder for many families to get their kids out to a game.
Anyhoo, the lead changed a nerve-wracking 14 times, but thanks to some clutch free-throws late in the game (hey, maybe that arm thing works) the Rams came out on top, 66-61—the same margin CSU enjoyed at halftime. I guess they could have skipped the second half and called it good, but I’m glad they didn’t. It was much more fun this way. And I wish the Rams the best of luck in continuing their home win streak when they play Boise State on January 30.