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BEST BET

March 03, 1991

Want to see the college basketball team that could be the best ever? Your chance will come this week when top-ranked Nevada Las Vegas, with stars Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Anderson Hunt, Greg Anthony and George Ackles, comes to the Long Beach Arena as the prohibitive favorite to win the Big West Conference tournament.

The Runnin' Rebels are coached by Jerry Tarkanian, who is 41-0 during his career for games played in the Long Beach Arena. Even more amazingly, Tarkanian has never lost a game (80-0) in Long Beach. When he coached Cal State Long Beach from 1968 to 1973, he was 63-0 at home, and as UNLV's coach, he is 17-0 in Long Beach.

Cal State Long Beach, which gave UNLV a battle in last year's tournament final, had to struggle this season under new Coach Seth Greenberg.

In the regular season, the Rebels twice beat the 49ers, by 51 points and 47 points.

UNLV will play in the quarterfinals at 9 p.m. Thursday. Other men's quarterfinal games Friday will be at 1, 3 and 6:30 p.m. The semifinals will be Saturday at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and the title game will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The women's quarterfinals will be at 1, 3, 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, the semifinals at 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, and the final at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Cal State Long Beach, UNLV and Cal State Fullerton will be the three favorites in the women's tournament, which also includes the University of the Pacific, Fresno State, UC Santa Barbara, New Mexico State and Hawaii. Both the men's and women's winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Passes for the eight sessions can be bought in advance for $60 (reserved, loge and floor) and $45 (general admission). Tickets also will be available at the door each day.

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