Wolf Pack giving Nevada reason for pride

We've written often enough about the not-so-good image this state has.

To virtually all of the country, Nevada is simply known as a state that has gambling and a bunch of brothels. The mayor of Las Vegas is a former mob lawyer, for goodness sakes. And he may very well be governor some day.

San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Scott Ostler once wrote about this state's image after covering the issue several years ago when the Nevada Athletic Commission was trying to decide if Mike Tyson should receive a license to box in Nevada.

When the commission was having difficulty making a decision on the issue, Ostler wrote something to the effect that the commission wasn't trying to decide if Tyson should fight, it was trying to decide if it should make Tyson governor.

Movies like "Casino" and Jerry Tarkanian's UNLV basketball teams of the early 1990s didn't help Nevada's image, either. "Casino" depicted a state totally controlled by the mob and Tarkanian's teams were just seen as a bunch of mercenaries.

Well, now the state has a team that is beginning to change all of that - the University of Nevada men's basketball team, which is playing today at 4 p.m. (Channel 2) against Texas in an NCAA Tournament first round game.

This is the second straight year the Wolf Pack have made the NCAA Tournament and they're coming off a Cinderella run a year ago to the Sweet 16. When covering the Wolf Pack for the past two years, the national media have seen the class of the program, so the state has received a lot of positive attention from the rest of the country as a result.

We should all support the Wolf Pack. They make this state proud, win or lose.


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