Iowa Hawkeyes (25-8) vs. Northwestern State Demons (25-7).
When: Friday, 12:25 p.m.
Where: Auburn Hills, Mich.
1. Jeff Horner Induces Pee-Phobia. If you're ever in a bathroom with Jeff, watch out... he may slap your ass. And then what will you do? Surely you can't just go on holding it. That's bad for you. Probably give you cancer. Also, Horner is Iowa's best player. Watch out ... he'll be leading the Hawks beyond the first weekend.
2. Everyone Hates Steve Alford. Not just students either, every one in Iowa and I ain't kidding. Nothing too unusual about that; lots of people want the coaches of their respective teams to be fired and often Web sites are made for that specific purpose. What's unique is that Alford has been a decent coach, and this year Iowa has exceeded expecations. Problem is, Alford is in the unfortunate position of being constantly compared to football coach/god Kirk Farentz because they came in at around the same time. But it's not just wins and losses that matter to the fine people of Iowa. Alford is perceived as a douche bag who appears in commercials for fancy suits and acts like a king when he walks into local restaurants.
3. Iowa Vs. Iona? This is a serious potential Elite Eight matchup. FANTASTIC. Try saying Iowa and Iona alternately as fast as you can. It's tough. How could anyone possibly explain the result of this game without mixing up the two? A glorious day awaits.
1. Vic The Demon Is Named That For A Reason. In one of the most noted mascot brawls in sports history, in October 1992, NSU mascot Vic the Demon got into it with Louisiana-Monroe mascot Chief Brave Spirit, after playful sparring on the sidelines turned into an ugly brawl. The Shreveport Times reported that Chief Brave Spirit ripped off Vic's head, and that Vic then "landed a series of haymaker blows." The police had to rush in and separate them. The game was televised, and footage of the brawling mascots made sports newscasts around the nation.
2. Their Head Coach Looks Like Woody Paige. Taking some of the luster off of the Demons' 15-1 Southland Conference record this season is the fact that their coach, Mike McConathy, resembles ESPN dog food gulper Woody Paige. As if that wasn't odd enough — two of their players look like Napolean Dynamite and Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat (Michael McConathay, who is the coach's son, and Clifton Lee). No one on the team, however, looks like Jim Croce, the singer-songwriter who died in a plane crash hours after finishing a 1973 concert on the NSU campus.
3. In Louisiana, Girls Are Better Free Throw Shooters Than Boys. Center Byron Allen raised his free throw percentage from 51 percent in preseason to 68 percent in conference play thanks to a tip from NSU women's assistant coach Kia Converse. Allen hit the game-winning free throw in the final four seconds vs. Stephen F. Austin. — Rick Chandler