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  • 03:21 PM ET  03.20

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Writer:  Joe Lemire
Game:  UNLV vs. Kent State
Post time:  3:15 PM, Thursday


OMAHA -- As the Midwest’s Nos. 8/9 game gets underway between UNLV and Kent State, I’m reminded of the best quip from yesterday’s media day.

A reporter asked Kent State guard Al Fisher, “The sports books in Las Vegas had Kent State as one-and-a-half point favorites going in; a lot of respect.  Talk about the respect you guys have built up over the year?”

Fisher responded, “Well, you know, we don't really look at that.”

Good decision. Plastered all around the locker rooms and press areas are large, NCAA-sponsored “Don’t Bet on It” posters, with the title, “Betting on your future? Your new uniform is ready…” -- illustrated with a bright orange federal prison jumpsuit pictured hanging from a locker.

About the only thing the NCAA is more vigilant about is the exclusive preponderance of its logo on all sideline food and beverages. I was stopped three separate times while walking to the court with my Starbucks coffee and asked to cover the logo. I thought it had already been covered after the first incident, but that was a generic cup, so I later was given two NCAA cups to put around that. I complied with each request and, by the time I reached my seat, I had a mighty stack of four cups all inside each other.

Later, Luke Winn and I were accosted for our contraband Doritos and sunflower seeds, which we eventually had to hide under the table.

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