UNLV Runnin' Rebels (28-6) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (20-11)
When: Friday, 12:15 p.m.
UNLV RUNNIN' REBELS
1. Viva Las Vegas, baby. Where else can you see pregame introductions featuring fireworks and flames shooting out of the shot clock as players come out on a red carpet? The band plays "Viva Las Vegas" leading into the infamous Reeeee-bels chant, members of the dance team make showgirls look like dogs and courtside seats have featured the likes of casino mogul Steve Wynn and other "Vegas celebrities." Hey, where else are you going to see a mobbed up casino owner cheering on his team?
2. Don't bring that weak stuff here, eh. After redshirting last season, Canadian-born Joel Anthony has provided plenty of thunder down in the blocks. Twice he's approached a triple-double in points, rebounds and blocks, coming up two points short against TCU. Over the course of the season he's had 10 games with at least four blocks, including a school record 12 in the TCU game.
3. Just Win, Baby. The UNLV basketball program has had tremendous success in its 48-year history and has left a high quality, although occasionally shady, imprint all over the record books. They're third in overall program winning percentage behind only Kentucky and North Carolina. They were the second winningest program of the '80s behind North Carolina and had the fourth-longest winning streak of all time from 1990-1991 at 45 games (we won't discuss the rumored thrown game that ended it). — David Fucillo
GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS
1. You Might Be A Yellow Jacket ... Sure, the most famous Georgia Tech — because we're talking about the university here, I will refer to them by their official name, "The Georgia Institute of Technology" — alumnus is Jimmy Carter, who was (reportedly) President of the United States and also won the Nobel Peace Prize, tellingly, not for being President Of The United States. But the GIT ('er dun!) alumnus more recognizable to the majority of United States citizens is no doubt comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the famous "you might be a redneck" fellow and current host of "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" (Answer: No.)
2. Their Fandom Of Anheuser-Busch Products Rivals The St. Louis Cardinals'. For years, the Cardinals' played the Anheuser-Busch anthem "Here Comes The King" during the seventh-inning stretch — more colloquially known as "the Clydesdale song" — before moving it to the eighth inning when they moved to their new ballpark. The Georgia Tech band has a similar tradition; they play "When You Say Budweiser" during the second-to-last timeout every home game. The fans respond by, according to Wikipedia, "alternately bending their knees and standing up straight." I don't know what that means.
3. Thaddeus REALLY Young. The Yellow Jackets are led by their two hot freshmen recruits, Thaddeus Young — who was born in June 1988! — and Javaris Crittendon have been the team's two best players all season, the two leading scorers, the two dominant forces, if someone who is a teenager can ever be referred to as a "force." The bad news is that they both very well might be gone after this year to the NBA Draft. (Though Crittendon says he's staying.) And I still can't get over the fact that I was already going through puberty when these two were born. (Barely.) — Will Leitch