Texas Longhorns (27-6) vs. Pennsylvania Quakers (20-8).
When: Friday, 9:50 p.m.
1. Two Names To Know: Todd Wright And Dr. Randa Ryan. Assistant athletic director (and former swim coach) Ryan had the honor of getting academic failure/star forward PJ Tucker back on the eligible list — despite committing the most retarded shot clock violation in the history of ever with five seconds to go in the A&M game, he rocked a 3.3 this fall. Wright is regarded as one of the country s best strength coaches; his speed room alone at the 44,000 square-foot Denton A. Cooley Pavilion is worth $300,000, which makes him an important employee for the almost absurdly injury-prone Horns. For example, senior forward Brad Buckman s 2005-06 season included but was not limited to the following injuries: hyperextended right knee, two left ankle sprains, bad hip, right calf strain ... Come to think of it, what the hell is Wright even doing?
2. PJ Tucker Is 1 For 1 From 3-Point Range. Ever. And as far as we know he is 0 for 0 in dormroom lipsynching.
3. A Hardly Obscure Fact That Still Bears Re-Mentioning. No team in NCAA history has ever won national championships in football and basketball in the same year. Did we mention Texas also won the 2005 NCAA Baseball championship, too? Oh, and the women s gymnastic team might have won nationals last year. And the women s intramural volleyball team. And rumor has it the golf team looks outstanding. — Whitney Pastorek
1. Their Home Court Is Famous, And Not Just For Hoops. The Palestra: Penn's home court, often mentioned in hallowed tones, referred to by some as the most historic fieldhouse in all of college basketball. It's home not only to all of Penn's games, but many of the classic Big Five rivarly games as well. At least three or four hundred years old (that's an approximation), it's a sacred house of hoops. Little known fact: During off-days, it often serves as a recreational court for legendary Philadelphian born and bred entertainers Boyz II Men. One of my good friends was a former player who would often see them clowning around on the court with their young kids either before or after practice.
2. Archibong Fever! Only in the bizarre alternate universe of college basketball could this be possible: Right around the turn of the century (2000, 2001, etc.), Penn and rival Yale somehow each had a player on their roster witht the rather unusual last name of Archibong (no relation). This felicitious coincidence led to what I still consider to this day to be the best sign I've ever seen at a sporting event in my life, if only because it combined two of my great loves. Held up during the student section during the game against Yale, it read: "Our Archibong hits better than yours."
3. As Storied As College Basketball Comes: From The Daily Pennsylvanian: As of mid-January, Penn is the seventh winningest college basketball program of all time, up there with heavyweights like UNC, Kentucky and Kansas. Penn s three wins over that weekend pushed the program total to 1,601 all time (against exactly 900 losses and two ties). That s a .640 win percentage. But: Only Penn is home to a long list of amazingly talented alumni including, but certainly not limited to, the soulful John Legend, the wonderfully versatile Maury Povich and, of course, the ruggedly handsome Mike Madeo. — Michael Madeo