Businesses, fans hopeful about the Runnin' Rebels' chances - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Businesses, fans hopeful about the Runnin' Rebels' chances

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Three days from the start of the NCAA Tournament, Runnin' Rebels fans are cautiously optimistic about the team's chances. 

"I'd like to see them in the Final Four, but we'll see," said UNLV student Matthew Jalbert.

The Rebels, seeded fifth in the East Regional, take on California in San Jose on Thursday afternoon.

On Monday morning at Rebelbooks on Maryland Parkway, the anticipation leading up the tournament was palpable. 

"We did pretty well over the whole weekend. Lots of business, lots of people in," said store employee Jaque Gill.

But across the street on the UNLV campus, there was nothing visible indicating the Rebels are heading to their fourth consecutive tournament.

"It's kind of disappointing, but hopefully a couple of wins in the tournament will change things," said UNLV student Neil Weiss.

Jalbert had his own theory as to why there seemed to be little or no interest shown in the Runnin' Rebels' ranking.

"It's Monday and last night was St. Paddy's Day, so just remember you're on a college campus," he said.

The further the Rebels can advance in the tournament, the better it will be for sports bars and for selling team merchandise.

"Last week's game on Saturday night, it was a madhouse in here, standing room only, and we're anticipating the same thing later this week," said Brittany Johnson, who works at Born And Raised Bar on South Cimarron Road near Warm Springs Road.

It's the same sentiment that Gill had at Rebelbooks.

"If we get past the first game, then it will really pick up and people will start getting more and more excited," she said.

Tip-off for Thursday's game is 4:27 p.m.

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