Pittsburgh Panthers (27-6) vs. Wright State (23-9)
When: Thursday, 9:40 p.m.
1. The Name Game. Pitt's starting lineup includes a lanky Canadian forward with stupid lines shaved in his head and a compact cornrowed point guard formerly of the famed New York Gauchos AAU team. One is named Levance and another is named Levon, but can you tell which is which?
2. Tarzana Of The Pennsylvanians. To understand Aaron Gray you must understand where he came from. Although raised as a Pennsylvanian he was born in Tarzana, Calif. It all makes sense when you take into account his towering presence and his body hair that refuses to be tamed. Of course in Hebrew the word "tarzan" translates as "dandy, fop, coxcomb" (via Wiki). Obviously Gray is a gentile-giant, but some NBA GM's might say he's lived up to the chosen people's description all to well.
3. Basketball Been Berry Berry Good. Pitt has become a prime destination for Dominican ballers going back to the days of Jaime Peterson. More recently the team featured Ricardo Greer who has parlayed his skills into a solid Euroleague career. He currently teams up with ex-NCAA standouts like Aaron Miles, Britton Johnson, and Michael Wright. The torch is currently carried by the team's top shooter, Ronald Ramon, and assistant coach (and former star player) Orlando Antigua who will forever be known as the first hispanic Globetrotter. — unsilent majority
WRIGHT STATE RAIDERS
1. Go Vikings...err...Coyotes...err...Raiders? Since this is only Wright State's second trip to the Big Dance, not many people know much about the school. Despite what Wright State's logo entails, their mascot is the Raider. It is not coyotes or even their circa 1993 mascot, a viking.
2. It's Vitaly's world...we're just living in it. Vitaly Potapenko is Wright State's most famous basketball alumni. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him #12 overall in the 1996 NBA draft. In the words of GOB Bluth, "They made a huge mistake." Fans of the Celtics, Supersonics and Kings also have the same sentiments.
3. The Wright State University of Las Vegas? Despite only being in Division I since 1991, Wright State has been marked with scandal. In 1996, with a stellar 356-159 record (74-71 in Division 1), Ralph Underhill was fired for allegedly stealing five bottles of vitamins from a Dayton-area grocery store. He was never convicted of the crime (he took a plea bargain). In 2006, after only three years at Wright State, Paul Biancardi was asked to resign and instead was fired for his involvement with Jim O'Brien and the Ohio State basketball scandal. — Scott DeMange