The University of Nevada Las Vegas will enter its fifth Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. basketball season the same way it began its first four--as the preseason conference favorite.
Jerry Tarkanian's Runnin' Rebels, winners of the past four PCAA championships, were picked to repeat again by the media and conference coaches Wednesday. In the media poll, Las Vegas received 57 of 58 first-place votes and 589 points overall, outdistancing second-place San Jose State (469 points). In the coaches poll, Las Vegas earned nine of 10 first-place votes and 99 points overall.
The Rebels return three starters and nine lettermen from last season's 33-5 team and have been ranked No. 1 in at least one preseason national poll.
Cal State Fullerton, with eight returning lettermen, was voted second in the coaches poll, receiving one first-place vote, and third in the media poll. UC Irvine, hurt by the graduation of scoring leaders Tod Murphy and Johnny Rogers, was picked eighth by both the coaches and the media.