UNLV ranked 18th; Moser honored by ESPN.com

Now come the spoils in the wake of UNLV’s 90-80 upset of top-ranked North Carolina Saturday night at the Orleans Arena.

As expected, the Rebels jumped into both of college basketball’s major Top 25 polls on Monday morning. They went from unranked to No. 18 in the AP poll, while the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll has Dave Rice’s club 20th.

North Carolina dropped to No. 5 in both polls.

Last season, UNLV spent four weeks in both polls, and during the 2009-10 season, its five weeks in the Top 25 rankings were the program’s most in a single season since 1992-93.

Meanwhile, sophomore forward Mike Moser was named ESPN.com’s National Player of the Week, and was honored as the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.

This week was highlighted by his 16-point, 18-rebound, 6-assist performance against the Tar Heels. On the season, he’s averaging team highs in points (15.1), rebounds (13.7) and steals (2.7). His 13.7 boards per game currently rank second in the nation.

UNLV’s annual non-conference road swing during the National Finals Rodeo’s stay at the Thomas & Mack Center gets going on Wednesday, when the Rebels (7-0) travel to face UC Santa Barbara (4-1).

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No Joke: Mike Moser proving to be UNLV's best player and emotional lynchpin

No Joke: Mike Moser proving to be UNLV's best player and emotional lynchpin

It was 10:44 p.m. on a Thursday night, and outside of a clean-up crew and a couple of media members, Mike Moser and Karam Mashour were the only souls remaining inside the Thomas & Mack Center. Roughly 90 minutes earlier, Moser had helped UNLV put the finishing touches on a 95-70 throttling of Canisius with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes. Mashour, struggling to find a place within first-year coach Dave Rice's rotation, was scoreless with three fouls and three turnovers in four visibly frustrating minutes of mop-up duty.