Friday, April 4, 2008

Top 10 #1 Seeds to win the NCAA Tournament

It is not only uncommon, but it is unheard of for all four number 1 seed’s to make it the to the final four in the NCAA Tournament. This year a record was set as Memphis, UCLA, UNC, and Kansas all marched through the first four games to make it to San Antonio. We are set up for some top-notch heavyweight battles this Saturday.

Since we’ve been slacking a little over here at PN@ Diego and Snack decided to put up a special bonus edition top ten based on the NCAA tournament. Since it is destine to be a number one seed winning it all this year, we bring you… the Top 10 Number 1 Seed’s to Win the NCAA Tournament.

10. 2000 Michigan State Spartans-

I don’t know what it is about Tom Izzo, but the man knows how to coach hoops, especially during the NCAA tournament. 2000’s final four featured a couple surprise teams in eighth ranked Wisconsin and North Carolina. However, MSU faced Florida in the championship, beating them 89-76. The Spartans were led by point guard Mateen Cleaves (18 points and 4 assists) who played on a sprained ankle but still had an outstanding game, and AJ Granger (19 points). Both of which were on the all tourney team. Michigan State also featured future NBA players Mo Peterson and Jason Richardson.

9. 1999 U-Conn Huskies-

After an impressive run through Georgetown and Notre Dame, the U-Conn Huskies won the Big East tournament and advanced on to the Big Dance as a #1 seed. This team had a chip on their shoulder and was eager to solidify their reputation as one of the big dogs in college b-ball, since at the time the Big East was softer then twinkie filling. Having players such as Rip Hamilton, Khalid El-Amin, and Caron Butler made this task a little easier, but facing a Duke team with a 32 game win streak in the title game, did not. With perseverance and a good game plan by long overdue head coach Jim Calhoun (he won his first National Title after 27 years of coaching) the Huskies were able to control the tempo of the game and defeat the Blue Devils 77-74.

8. 1994 Arkansas Razorbacks-

Besides the fact that this one quality NCAA basketball team, there are two other reasons that I included them on the list… One is the nickname of their superstar player Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson (one of the greatest nicknames EVER) and also the moniker given to their style of play, it was known as “40 Minutes of Hell”. This was because the crimson and white caused nightmares for opposing teams, and if you don’t believe me then just ask Duke star Grant Hill who was held to only 12 points in the title game.

This team beat you with its depth; its second unit was almost as good as the first. They played in your face defense and used full court pressure all game long to disrupt the other team. Despite having a lack of superstars (other then Big Nasty) Arkansas almost won back-to-back titles in 94 & 95.

7. 1995 UCLA Bruins-

UCLA has a legacy in college basketball and has won a record 11 National Championships since 1964. 1995 was their most recent title as they ruined Arkansas’ chance at winning back-to-back championships. This team lacked the depth that was displayed by Arkansas, but still managed to win the contest mostly due to O’Bannon brothers. Outstanding tournament player, Ed Obannon, had 30 points 17 rebounds and Charles added 11 points and 9 rebounds. This team may have been less flashy then other teams on this list, but they were still impressive nonetheless.

6. 1984 Georgetown Hoyas-

Big time teams are led by big time players, and the 1984 Georgetown Hoyas had one of the most talented big men to ever play college basketball, Patrick Ewing. Ewing was an imposing force that controlled the paint on both ends of the court; the Hoyas reached the NCAA finals 3 times with Ewing on the team (losing twice by a total of 3 points). Coached by John Thompson, this G-Town team was one of the scariest of all time, with a dominant steel-trap defense with Ewing at the helm. These were the glory days of the Big East, and Georgetown was the leader of the pack. This was also the year that the tourney field expanded from 48 to 64, and the Hoyas won it all 84-75 over Houston.

5. 2005 North Carolina Tar Heels-

North Carolina is another school with a deeply rooted basketball tradition. This was one of the most impressive starting lineups of any NCAA team ever (Marvin Williams, Sean May, Raymond Felton, and Rashad McCants were all 1st round draft picks the following year). Their fast paced style of play led to many blow out victories. Sean May dominated the championship game against the smaller Illinois team, who had no answer for the NC big man. May’s 21st birthday was the same day as the game and he celebrated in the best was possible by scoring 26 points on 10-11 shots with 12 rebounds, an outstanding player of the tournament award, and of course a National Title.

4. 2007 Florida Gators-

The first of two teams on the list that won back-to-back titles. The Gators dominated college sports in 06 & 07 winning both the football and basketball Championships, beating Ohio State in both. After winning in 2006 all 5 starters (Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford, and Tauren Green) all got together and decided to give it another run for their money, it was a good decision on their part. All the previously mentioned players were NBA draft choices, and only one was picked outside the first round (Green). This team, coached by Billy Donovan, was an unstoppable force. It may be a long, long time before we see another team win it all back-to-back.

3. 1992 Duke Blue Devils-

Duke is right up there with the New England Patriots and the New York Yankee’s as one of the most hated sports teams in the USA. Regardless of your opinion on Duke, this 1992 team deserves props for it’s stellar season. This Mike Krzyzewski led team had one of the most potent offenses in NCAA tournament history with players like Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Cherokee Parks and Christian Laettner (the famous buzzer beating turnaround jumper occurred in the final four game against Arizona).

Also, their D was nothing to sneeze at either. A 71-51 victory over the Fab 5 of Michigan proved this teams greatness, as they won their 2nd consecutive title. The main reason I ranked them higher then the aforementioned Florida team is because back in 1992 people actually stayed all 4 years in college, so the competition was tougher then it is today.

2. 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels-

Also known as “Tumbleweed Tech” cause of its obscure location, UNLV plays in the Mountain West Conference. This team was one of the most dominant, unselfish, hardworking, and tough in college basketball history. They proved this by consistently beating teams by double digits (24 times in the 1990 season). They are also credited with the most lop-sided championship game victory, 103-73 over Duke. The stars of this team were Anderson Hunt (most outstanding player of Final Four), Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, and Larry Johnson. The team coached by Jerry Tarkanian was often described as men playing with boys. In my professional opinion, this Runnin’ Rebel team could kick the crap out of all four final four teams this year.

1. 1982 North Carolina Tar Heels-

The year 1982 marked the beginning of the dynasty of a man named Michael “Air” Jordan (easily the most famous and recognizable basketball player in the world), and this game marked his coming out party. Granted there were only 48 teams in the tournament this year I still felt the need to include this team on the list. Legend Dean Smith was coach, and their star player was “Big Game” James Worthy. UNC battled its way to the title game against Big East powerhouse, Georgetown, a daunting and admirable opponent.

James Worthy scored 28 points in the game, but was overshadowed by the young Jordan. MJ’s role started out slowly in the beginning of his freshman year, but by the big game he had established himself as both a playmaker and clutch scorer. The jumper that won the game for the Tar Heels, 63-62, catapulted the young Jordan to nation wide fame and recognition. Once Jordan got his foot in the door he never left the media spotlight and is still prevalent today in his many ad’s (Hanes) and products (his Air Jordan shoe and clothing line).


100 greatest college basketball players of all time

10 Greatest 3-pointers in NCAA tournament history

10 Ugliest uniforms in college basketball

10 Coolest uniforms in college basketball

Until lata...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Link's N'at

The Pens game last night was pretty sweet; blood, sweat, sucker punches, cheap shots, 2 goals by Sid the kid, a win, and an Atlantic Division Championship.

(Pic from

How sweet it is...

The Pens have set a franchise record by selling out all 41 home games this season. Translation… good luck getting playoff tickets, unless of course you’re Diego and Snack (we got the hook up).

A Pens- Flyers playoff series would be freakin’ awesome because it is probably the most heated rivalry in the NHL, we hate them and they hate us. Too bad if we beat them on Sunday in Philly they may not even make it to the playoffs. In this article from a Philly newspaper Daniel Briere calls Jarrko Ruutu “one of the dirtiest players in hockey”.

The Buccos bullpen let up 7 runs in the 8th as we went down 10-2. There goes that undefeated season…

Even though we lost last night, cheer up Buc’s fans, here’s a list of 10 Positive Things about being a Pirate Fan.

In a story filed under the too little too late category; the NFL officials have once again apologized to our Steelers for screwing us over with another shitty call (or lack there of) in the playoffs. In related news, Seahawks fans are still waiting for a an apology from the refs for all the calls they were crying about after Super Bowl 40. (crybabies)

(Pic from

WE should have won the Super Bowl. WAAHHHHH!!!

I woke up to one of the stranger interviews I have seen in awhile between Chad “Ocho Stinko” Johnson and ESPN’s Brian Kenny. They shoulda changed the title of this segment to the awkward show, because it was plenty uncomfortable. Judge for yourself.

James Harrison had the charges against him dropped by his baby's mama...Apparently he's already done anger management and psychological counseling, which is impressive considering he's all finished with his "therapy" and the incident happened like 2 weeks ago...If I pimp handed one of my many lady friends, you can bet your sweet ass I'd still be rotting down at ACJ...

And finally, a lil more Cinci Criminals news - former WVU player Chris Henry was cut from the team (ala Cedrick Wilson) for allegedly hitting someone with a beer bottle or hanging some dogs or beating up his lady or something liek that...Hell, that crazy hoopie could be slangin crach rocks for all we know. But at least we don't gotta worry about him torchin the Steelers or his family staring down Big Snack at the 2006 Bengals - Steelers game...I won't get into it but let's just say the ushers were replaced by security...

Until lata...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Link's N'at

Bleacher Report keeps it real with their “different kind of preview” on our 2008 Pirates.

And who knew the Pirates had a bullpen? Apparently they do, so here’s a preview of the 2008 Bucco bullpen (or lack there of).

Bob Nutting believes the Pirates have a “tremendous respected franchise” and also uses the phrase “culture of success” to describe them. This holds true as long as you have had amnesia for the last 15 years that is.

Looks like Nyjer “Monday” Morgan picked the wrong sport as a youngster. I’m sure he’d much rather be playing for the first place Penguins rather then our lovable losers, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

(Pic from

Nyjer please!

The Flyers face off against the Pens tonight at 7:30. Philly is looking to make the playoffs the return of RJ Umberger shouldn’t hurt their chances.

And our man, Old Balls Gary Roberts is eyeing a Sunday return from his broken leg/high ankle sprain...He's going to absolutely murder someone when he finally hits the ice - you know he's pissed that he's missed this run. Whoever we play better watch the hell out because they'll look like giant T-Bone steaks to that crazy old bastard.

Here is some Steelers 1st round draft pick speculation from Fanhouse.

As the off-season in football progresses, the Cardinals continue to make the case to change their team name to the Steelers-West.

(Pic from

Fake ass Steelers...

Until lata...

Top 10 Pitt Basketball Players Ever

We know the Buccos just won their opener (in true Pirate fashion I might add) and that the Pens are a point away from clinching the Atlantic...we know this. But since it's March Madness and our Pitt Panthers gave us alot to cheer for with their Big East Tourney Championship and Bobby Knight predicting them to win the National Title, we decided we'd pay an homage to them with our Top 10 Pitt Basketball Players Ever...

Keep in mind, however, that Diego and Snack are youngsters - so alot of these old guys on here were placed where they were based on the advice of our respective old men and old people at the bar...So feel free to add your comments tellin us which other old timers we may have missed simply by being 25 years old...

10. Eric Mobley- 6’11” Center, Bronx, NY (1990-1994), Mark Blount- 7’0” Center, Yonkers, NY (1995-1997), Aaron Gray 7’1” Center, Tarzana, California (2003-2007), and Chris Taft 6’10” Center, Brooklyn, NY (2003-2005)-

We lumped these players together because when you think of dominant big men that played at Pitt in recent history, (1990’s & 2000’s) their names come to mind. Not only that, but also all four of these big guy’s had a pretty high shooting percentage, and also made it to the NBA (at least for a little while in Taft’s case). Gray was arguably the most successful player out of this group, after struggling to start his Pitt career, he won most improved player in 2005-06 (also was first team Big East that year). He was also an All American the following season. Taft had the most potential out of all of the above players (he won Big East freshman of the year in 2003-04), but was often criticized for taking plays off and basically being a slacker. Taft opted to go to the NBA Draft in 2005 and his career was a failure only playing one season for the Golden State Warriors.

My ball punk...

9. Sean Miller- 6’1” Guard, Beaver Falls, PA (Blackhawk) (1987-1992)-

Sean Miller is a local guy who grew up in Beaver Falls and went to high school at Blackhawk, he was also was a 4 year starter for Pitt. Miller made an immediate impact for the Panthers earning Big East freshman of the year honors, and leading Pitt to a 24-7 record and the NCAA tournament. Miller’s achievements at Pitt include 3 NCAA births, an 80-48 record, 1282 career points, and a Big East championship. Pitt has had quality point guard’s for just about the last 20 years and Sean Miller was the one who started the run, with his amazing ball control. Miller has also enjoyed a successful career as a coach. He has coached Xavier for four years and has accumulated two 20-win seasons and won an A-10 tournament.

Miller could be Dixon's replacement if he pulls a Howland and heads west...

8. Ricardo Greer 6’5” Guard/Forward, New York, NY (1997-2001)-

Unfortunately for Ricardo Greer he kinda got the poop end of the stick. Meaning, he got to Pitt a little too early and missed out on playing for the quality Ben Howland led Pitt teams of the early 2000’s. Ricardo didn’t get a whole lot of help during his tenure at Pitt, but he still managed to score 1753 points, 6th most in Pitt history, which is impressive. Greer was top 10 at Pitt in assists with 373 (9th), rebounds with 888 (6th), and field goals made with 672 (6th). Not too shabby considering the he didn’t have all that much help on the court.

A face only a mother could love...

7. Julius Page 6’3” Guard, Buffalo, NY (2000-2004)-

Julius Page was one of the leaders of the most winning four-year class in Pitt history. From 2000 to 2004 Pitt and Page went an impressive 107-30 (a winning percentage of .781). Page also scored 1512 points in his career made it to three sweet 16 appearances. Page had awesome offensive prowess with the ability and quickness to beat players off the dribble and score. He also had exceptional leaping and dunking skill, and had the range to drain three pointers consistently. In 2003 Page won the Big East Tournament most outstanding player, leading Pitt to a championship over U-Conn, the crowning moment for this Pitt team. This was the last Big East tournament championship the Panthers had won, before this year's win over Georgetown.

The other JPizzy...

6. Carl Krauser- 6’0” Guard, Bronx, NY (2002-2006)-

Carl Krauser was a polarizing figure at Pitt, either you loved his “street ball” style play or you hated it. Either way, the point guard accomplished a lot. He definitely improved his play as he matured, as his 2003-04 most improved player in the Big East award proved. Krauser also was an all American that year as well. Carl Krauser was best known for his ball handling ability as well as his clutch shooting (and also his forearm crossing X celebration to pay respect to his home town and homeboy’s in the Bronx, NY). He was the only player in Pitt history to score 1500 points, have 500 rebounds, and 500 assists (1642, 526, 568). He currently is playing for the Pittsburgh Xplosion (where I am sure they appreciate the X celebration).

No, you can count, on me, waiting for you in the parking lot...

5. Jerome Lane- 6’6” Forward, Akron, Ohio (1985-1988)-

This man is responsible for the greatest and most replayed Pitt basketball highlight of all time, everyone who watches Pitt sports has to have seen this highlight at least a couple hundred times, easy. Of course I am referring to the highlight of Jerome Lane shattering the backboards with an earth shaking slam-dunk. (see below) Although Lane is probably most known for this dunk he also had a very successful career at Pitt winning two Big East championships and being named an All-American twice in 1986-87 and 1987-88. At only 6’6” Lane was a rebounding machine (much like current Panther Dejuan Blair) and actually led the nation in rebounding averaging 13.5 a game in 86-87. Jerome made it the NBA as a first round selection in 1988.

4. Brandin Knight-6’0” Guard, East Orange, NJ (1999-2003)- PN@ ranks Brandin Knight so high on the list because we believe he was the catalyst which spring boarded Pitt hoops from mediocrity to NCAA powerhouse. Versatile point guard Brandin Knight played for Pitt during the same tenure in which Ben Howland turned the team around, from 1999 to 2003. Knight bought into Howland’s philosophy of tough psychical play, stout defense, and unselfish and controlled offense. Knight was an expert at controlling the tempo of games by slowing everything down in order to execute and take teams out of their game plan. He excelled when the pressure was on, and he gave 100% effort, hustling on every play. He won many awards during his stay at Pitt; including Co-Big East player of the year, most improved player, and All-American in the 2001-02 season. Brandin Knight was one of the smartest basketball players to ever take the court for Pitt, and he is now utilizing his hoops IQ as director of basketball operations for Pitt.

Everyday I'm hustlin'...

3. Billy Knight- 6’7” Forward, Braddock, PA (1971-1974)-

We showed love to players of the 1980’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Therefore its only logical we gotta give props to the best player to play for the Panther’s during the 1970’s, and that player is Billy Knight. Knight is a hometown guy hailing from Braddock, PA. In only 78 games for Pitt he managed to score a whopping 1731 points, that is an average of 22.2 points per game. Knight was a solid all around player breaking the 1000 point, 600 rebound, and 200 assist plateau for Pitt (1731, 938, and 206). Knight led Pitt to an imposing 22 game win streak in 1973-74, and also led the Panthers to their last elite 8 appearance also in 1974.

Smooth criminal...

2. Charley Hyatt- 6’0” Forward, Uniontown, PA. (1926-1930)-

We are throwing it way back for this one to the days of super duper short shorts, wild hair, and high socks. Hyatt led Pitt to not one but two national championships in 1928 & 1930 (hitting the game winner in 1930). Hyatt won so many honors and awards it’s hard to mention them all; he was a 3-time All American, a 2 time National scoring leader, National player of the year in 1930, led Pitt to a record of 60-7, and is a member of the Naismith basketball Hall of Fame (1959). It may have been a very long time ago, but Hyatt was the caliber of player Pitt needed to win it all. If only this year’s team had a scorer like him we mighta made it to the 2nd weekend of the tourney.

1. Charles Smith-6’10” Center/Forward, Bridgeport, Conn (1985-1988)-

Charles Smith is responsible for revitalizing the Pitt program in the 1980’s and bringing the team into a national spotlight. He made Pitt a household name in the sport of basketball. Smith holds the Pitt record for scoring with 2,045 career points (in only 3 seasons) and also was named as number 8 of the 50 greatest Big East players of all time. Smith was the only Pitt player ever to be a member of the Olympic basketball team in 1988, he also was named Big East player of the year, and brought home a Big East title, that same year. Charles was honored as Big East freshman of the year and was a two time All American. Along with Jerome Lane he terrorized Big East teams, dominating the glass and paint (he had 987 rebounds). Smith also was the first Pitt player to become a 1st round NBA draft pick, and he enjoyed a 10-year NBA career.

Numero Uno...

Honorable mention - Jerry “Ice” McCullough, Chevon Troutman, Jaron Brown, Clyde Vaughn, Sam Young and Vonteego Cummings

Until lata...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Snack's 2008 Bucco Preview

It's opening day for our beloved Buccos, and your boy Snack is here to tell ya how it's gonna go for our boys this time around. They double stink this season, but we'll still root for them; what the hell, they're the Buccos, what else should we expect?

I'm going to break it down from my optimistic point of view - and it's still not particularly enjoy, and feel free to tell me why I'm a jagoff or why I'm "the shiznit"...

Basically, this season breaks down to one word - expectations. Last year, our boys fell WAAAAYYYYY below their and our expectations. Since management did NOTHING to address this, it's all about these guys filling their potential. Especially the pitching staff.

Ian Snell and Tom Gorzo are both expected to continue their strong play from last season, and Zack Duke and Paul Maholm have looked impressive this spring. Hell, Matt Morris even had a nice outting in his last start before breaking camp. But as young and inexperienced as we are in the rotation, that's not the area of the pitching staff I'm the most worried about...

(Pic from

The 2008 Pirate's Pitching Staff...

The bullpen is my main area of concern. Capps, while not possessing overwhelming stuff, is a pretty effective closer, and I personally think Damaso Marte is about as good a setup man/lefty specialist as there is in the league. After that, it's mighty slim pickin's...

Grabow is pretty solid, although he's at the very least metro sexual looking (see pic above with Zach Duke), but he's the only other known entity on the team. Osoria, Yates, Dumatrait and Meek are all trying to break in or make their marks, and having so many questions with a young pitching rotation does not bode well for the Bucs. The starters are going to have to go into the seventh a lot of the time, or one or more of these guys need to step up - one way or the other, something's gotta give if the Pirates want to be successful this season.

As for the batters, I think the best way to put it is we're no Detroit Tigers, but we should be able to put the bat on the ball. Everyone seems to think McLouth is in for a good season, and Bay is bound to bounce back from the worst season of his career. Xavier Nady looked impressive last season, and if he stays healthy, can possibly hit 25-30 homers. And I think Adam LaRoche is going to have one helluva season. Since, unlike last year, no one will be counting on him to be a savior, there's no pressure, and as you could be by his much improved play at the end of the season, he plays better with no pressure.

Steady Freddie Sanchez can probably be expected to hit about 300 with around 10 jacks, and Jose Bautista could MAYBE hit 20 if the sun and stars align just right. Ronny Paulino will be looking to improve on his pathetic 2007, and Jumpin' Jack Wilson will prolly hit around .280 or .290...

The lineup is OK, and like I said, I think it can keep us competitive. Our bench players are also better then they have been in past years, with Morgan being able to pinch run, and Doug "I can't spell your last name - awitz" and Gomez are pretty good pinch hitters and will provide much needed fire and leadership. Doumit is our backup catcher/outfielder, and we all know about his bat and potential. If he stays healthy, he could be a very nice piece of the puzzle. Luis Rivas rounds out the bench and has some pop and has also been a pretty decent defensive replacement at second base...

(Pic from

Flyin' Freddy Sanchez...

We also have some MLB-ready players in AAA, including power hitting outfielder/first basemen Steve Pearce, and lefty pitcher Sean Burnett, who will be called up as soon as ANYONE falters in the bullpen. Veteran Casey Fossum is also down there, and don't forget about Andrew McCutcheon, Neil Walker and Brian Bixler, who are all creeping their way into shape and may be September call-ups.

New manager John Russell and his staff have been recieving high reviews from the players for the way they ran spring training. I realize they all have to say that, but some of the local newspapers and talking heads have said they notice a difference. And judging by the way some of the regulars have played this spring, I think they've been a good addition - so far. Obviously, it all comes down to how they do starting tonite and lasting 162 more games...

Until lata...