Campus Commons PT - March 2019


THE 1990 UNLV RUNNIN’ REBELS The early ‘90s was a contentious time in college basketball, full of pure amateur competition. The days of the “one and done” player were far ahead, which meant that all the top-level talent was bred in the hotbed of the NCAA. Players like Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and David Robinson had to prove their NBA mettle in the grueling basketball tournament we all know as March Madness. It has always showcased the best of the best, but America has always loved an underdog. Last year, audiences adored Loyola Chicago as they made their way to the Final Four. Cinderella teams fill our hearts with hope and optimism, but not all of them are loveable. Perhaps no small school is more polarizing than the UNLV squad that was put together by the late, great Jerry Tarkanian. The team was nasty, flashy, and, most importantly, downright impossible to beat. “The Runnin’ Rebels” ran the court like no team before. Reports have the 1991 Tarkanian squad referring to the Arkansas Razorbacks’ “40 minutes of hell” as “40 minutes

most acclaimed for its hospitality program to an NCAA basketball tournament regular. After making their first Final Four appearance in 1977, the team started down a path that would take them to four Elite 8s in five years, and there would be no greater success than the season that came to pass in 1990. Most games are back-and-forth, with drama centering around every possession. That was not the case during the 1990 national championship game. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski guided his team to the final through steady stellar performances throughout the tournament, and all was well until the legendary program met UNLV’s rowdies. The opening tipoff was about as close as Duke ever got to controlling any part of that game. Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon, and Larry Johnson ran the Blue Devils off the court, and the Cinderella team everyone came to hate won 103–73 in the biggest blowout in NCAA tournament history.

of vacation” when it beat the then second- ranked team on its home court. The team embodied swagger and wasn’t afraid to create a splash everywhere it went. Most of the noise wasn’t positive, but when you win the national championship the year prior, a little arrogance is necessary to maintain your “bad guy” image. Formally a small state school known to locals as “Tumbleweed Tech,” UNLV wasn’t even a Division I school until 1970. When Tarkanian took over in ‘73, the school went from an institution



In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control reported that falls killed 19,700 seniors in the U.S. In the latest info from 2015, that number rose to 28,000. Injuries resulting from falls are one of the most common reasons for hospital visits by seniors. One way to combat this problem is to take time to improve your balance. The muscles used for balance atrophy as we get older, and the best way to prevent a fall or injury is to keep those muscles active. Here are a few ways to do that. This may sound overly simplistic, but that’s why this exercise is a great place to start. You can do this while doing dishes, folding laundry, or standing in line at the grocery store. Try to hold your balance on one leg for 30 seconds before alternating to the other. If you can hold the position for longer than 30 seconds, try doing multiple sets on each leg. You can also try closing your eyes or standing on a surface that isn’t quite as stable to continue developing those muscles. STANDING ON ONE LEG

Squats work well to strengthen your legs and in turn improve your balance. While keeping your

back straight and your core tight, bend at the knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. If you feel up to it, you could also try doing one-legged squats with one of your legs extended out in front of you.


There have been multiple academic studies relating the practice of tai chi to greater balance, greater confidence in physical movement, and subsequently fewer falls in seniors. While this exercise requires more time, it is hard to argue with the benefits of what tai chi can do for your balance. Along with these exercises you can do by yourself, Campus Commons Physical Therapy has extensive experience in improving balance and lessening the likelihood of falls. Please feel free to give us a call. 2

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