Oregon Ducks (26-7) vs. Miami Of Ohio Red Hawks (18-14)
When: Friday, 5:05 p.m.
1. Not that Aaron Brooks. From the same school that gave the sports world another Jaison Williams (current WR) and Steve Smith (former CB), comes current point guard and Pac-10 Player of the Year candidate Aaron Brooks. He can't throw 50-yard backward passes, but highlights before this season include breaking his wrist after punching a basket support at UCLA and then nearly breaking a semi-albino shooting guard's face. In all fairness to Brooks, I'm not sure if popping a Washington Husky is technically a punishable offense.
2. Mac Court is really old. McArthur Court is about 80 years old, and if you go to a game there, you might die. OK, maybe not, but a lot of the stands are supported by wood, and when fans start getting excited and get on their feet, being in the building becomes, to say the least, uncomfortable. The rumor is that a new arena won't be built until there's a new coach, due to the fact that people (read: those with the greenbacks) seem to want Ernie Kent out. A 23-win regular season, however, probably ensures that somebody will be hit with a roof shingle or fall through the stands at some point next season. Also, on a somewhat related Mac Court topic, the student section was told to tone it down after starting a "Your Son Hates You" (clap clap, clap clap clap) chant directed at Henry Bibby. Classy all the way.
3. Fun Duck Facts. The uniforms (save for maybe the bright yellow ones) probably won't blind anybody and have no diamond plating or fade paint ... Backup point guard Adrian Stelly worked as a janitor at Mac Court his freshman year before walking on the following year ... shooting guard Chamberlin Oguchi plays for the Nigerian National Team ... shooting guard Bryce Taylor has improved significantly since cutting off his Sideshow Bob dreadlocks before the season ... It's not a typo, forward Maarty Leunen really does spell his name with two As ... Freshman Tajuan Porter is 5'6" and somehow tied the Pac-10 freshman record for threes ... I once saw backup forward Mitch Platt in a Quizno's. I don't remember his order, but it didn't impress me, much like his 30.8 percent free throw percentage that season. — Dan Rubenstein
MIAMI OF OHIO REDHAWKS
1. You Give "Of" A Bad Name. In NCAA football we have Miami and Miami of Ohio. Perhaps in basketball, we should have Miami and Miami of Florida. Who's with me? (Charges out of Delta House) ... (Returns) What the f**k happened to the Deadspin I know? Where's the spirit? The Miami University RedHawks have qualified for the tournament of 64 — I mean 65 — for the 17th time in school history. The one in Florida has reached the tournament but a mere five times. MU also has twice as many tournament wins as "The U." (Six vs. three.) Miami University has hardly earned the consolation of using the "Of [state]" when it comes to basketball in March. And we're just the folks to change that thought process. LET'S DO IT!
2. I Wonder What That LeBron Guy Is Doing Now. You may not believe this, but the guys playing for Miami this season had trouble against LeBron James in high school. The Brothers Pollitz (Eric and Tim) lost in consecutive years to James and company in the Ohio Division III quarterfinals in 2002 and 2003. Doug Penno — that dude who hit the banked 3-point shot to beat Akron in the silly MAC Championship — was on the team that lost to James' high school in the state championship game, 40-36. So could it possibly be construed as ironic that Penno and Pollitz won a conference championship on the very court on which LeBron James plays professionally (Quicken Loans Arena)? No? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
3. WHAT ... Is Your Name? What ... Is Your Quest? For a school stowed away in Southeast Ohio's armpit, Miami sure has a lot of famous graduates: Woody Hayes, Weeb Eubank, Paul Brown, Ara Parseghian, Ben Roethlisberger, Ron Harper, Charlie Liebrandt ... ah hell. Just read the damn list. Not listed, but should be, is author Scott Ginsberg, known as "The Nametag Guy." He claims to have worn a nametag 24/7 for the last six years. (Most. Awkward. Sex. Ever.) He claims that the nametag not only gives him a profound level of approachability and confidence, but it keeps the evil pirate ghosts from invading his mantra and selling his soul for rum. Ginsberg is clearly a glaring omission on the list of notable MU alum. If only there were some way I could add his name to that Wikipedia list. — Matt Sussman