Pittsburgh Panthers (24-7) vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (25-8).
When: Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Auburn Hills, Mich.
1. Show Biz, Baby. Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon and associate head coach Barry Rohrssen are both members of the Screen Actor's Guild. Orlando Antigua, currently the director of basketball operations and also former Pitt player, was the first and only Harlem Globetrotter of Latin American decent. Rohrssen, nicknamed "slice," appeared in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, with an all-star cast that included Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris. Dixon, in his early 20s, got dunked on by a girl in a Bud Light commercial.
2. Oh Canada. Starting forward Levon Kendall hails from Vancouver, B.C, and he loves his country. Kendall scored 40 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against team USA while playing for team Canada in the 2005 FIBA U21 World Championship. Team Canada won 93-90 in overtime. Team USA included J.J. Redick and Rudy Gay.
3. Pitt Loves Puns. Junior walk-on guard Charles Small, listed at 5-foot-7, is one of the smallest players in college basketball. Freshman center Tyrell Biggs is 6-8, 260 lbs. Small has scored one point in his college career, a free throw against Howard in '04. Biggs is seeing limited time in his first collegiate season. But those are the obvious ones; Mike Cook, has in fact cooked, and Sam Young, who just turned 21, is not very old. Aaron Gray however, is white. — Keith Wehmeyer
1. More Likely To Get Attention From Mel Kiper Than Tim Legler. Only one Kent State basketball player is currently in the NBA. That lucky gentleman is Atlanta Hawks backup center John Edwards. KSU's hoops team has produced a slightly more recognizable athlete in the NFL: Chargers' tight end Antonio Gates, who didn't even play football in college. Maybe their basketball players should suit up in helmets and pads. Their football team in the past four years is 14-32.
2. Odds Are Neil Young Never Wrote A Song About Your School. Kent State infamously made national headlines in 1970 when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student demonstrators, killing four. So if you didn't know what Neil Young meant when he sang the lyric "four dead in Ohio," now you do. But while the college may be forever synonymous with those tragic shootings, the basketball team would like to be known for improbable tournament runs. In 2002 — their last NCAA tournament appearance — the Golden Flashes upset teams all the way to the Elite Eight, where they lost to national runners up Indiana.
3. The Golden Flashes? That's A Weird Name. Kent State's mascot, according to their athletic site, is "a topic of debate," meaning it was likely a drug-induced name. Their suited-up mascot is a golden eagle, which isn't as ridiculous. An eagle has nothing to do with a flash, but would you really want their cheers led by a guy in a giant camera suit? Perhaps a better mascot would be Napoleon Dynamite, who bears a striking resemblance to KSU's sixth man Kevin Warzynski. — Matthew Sussman