I think UNLV was better than Indiana or Syracuse, national semifinal game notwithstanding (and that was one hell of a game).I don't think they needed a rim protector to take out Indiana or Syracuse if they could have managed to survive that 2nd half against UNLV. Horton/Lohaus were great on the front end of that press, not so much on the back end like Earl was.
Knight, who had seen some B1G basketball from Magic Johnson on down, called that 1987 Iowa team the most talented he had seen in the conference to that point. He mentioned in his book that he was very happy to not have to face Iowa a third time.
But that UNLV team was unbelievable. In a seven game series they beat Indiana in five or six. That whole west region was unbelievable. Gamble's heroics against Oklahoma, an epic battle with UTEP. Pitt, UCLA and Wyoming in that region. Arizona, who lost Steve Kerr for the season before it even started, was a ten seed! They would be in the final four the following year after Kerr came back.