1. This Is The Best Missouri State Team In History. This is sort of like saying that my pet snake is my best friend even though he's my only friend, but still. The school changed its name from Southwest Missouri State following last year s centennial celebration. So technically this is the best team they ve had because it s the only one they ve had as Missouri State so far. Hooray for lame jokes based on technicalities.
2. Blake Ahearn Is Better Than J.J. Redick. It's true (sort of). His Missouri Valley Conference-leading 17.1 points a game might not put him above the Duke stud, but his scary precision at the free throw line does. He led all NCAA players in free throw percentage his freshman and sophomore years, and his .956 career average has him on pace to be the all-time NCAA leader. Plus this 6-foot-1 whiteboy junior guard throws down dunks on a regular basis. Suck on that, J.J.
3. Coach Barry Hinson Is A Short, Short Man. After the Bears' Bracket Buster win over UW-Milwaukee last month, Barry told USA Today: "You've got to fight for the little guy. That's what this country is all about." He was probably talking about his team, a mid-major that hasn t cracked the field of 64 since Steve Alford led the team to the Sweet 16 in 1999, but something tells me this short man is the little guy. You see, Hinson is only five-foot-eight. This little firecracker of a coach is known for his honest observations about his team and the bizarre little sayings he uses to get his point across. Imagine Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums, then add some integrity, humor and an Oklahoma accent. Yep, that s Barry Hinson. — Evan Fisk