It was 20 years ago that Jerry Tarkanian's Nevada Las Vegas team beat Duke by the staggering score of 103-73 in the NCAA title game. Although the Runnin' Rebels were one greatest teams in college basketball history, their image has long been tarnished by the NCAA's dogging of coach Jerry Tarkanian, who first ran into trouble with the governing body during his time at Long Beach State.
Tark coached the 49ers' from 1968-73, and the NCAA cited the program for 23 rules violations.
It got worse when he became UNLV's coach, and the NCAA's badgering of the program served as motivation for the title run.
"I don't think they'll always be appreciated for how good they were," said Joe Hawk, the sports editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Because there's always going to be the mindset that there was some untoward things being done within the program — that the Rebels won this, not on the cheap, but they won it on the cheat."
Tark later went on the offensive, eventually suing the NCAA. The governing body settled by writing the coach a $2.5 million check.
"And the part that was great about it," Tarkanian said, "was it was tax-free."
The Mountain West Conference's network took a look at the Runnin' Rebels' championship team in a recent special. View the show (in six parts) after the jump.