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Belmont Bruins

1. Live by the Three... Belmont upset the Atlantic Sun conference's regular-season champion East Tennessee State on its home floor in the worst way possible — with a 94-67 rout underwritten by a flurry three-pointers. Belmont made 12 in the first half alone, including a desperation shot at the buzzer — the salt in the wound that made it 49-30. The team shot 48.3 percent from behind the arc (only slightly worse than the 50.0 percent it shot overall) with nearly half its field goals being threes. This should bode well for the tourney, where the only chance tiny schools like Belmont (which qualified for the second year in a row, and the second time in school history) is to get hot from 3-point territory. Schools like Belmont may not have the opportunities for such an upset much longer, however — once again, there is grumbling that the college three-point should be pushed back at least a foot, or perhaps even all the way to the NBA distance. Of course, we've heard this all before.

2. The People Behind The Music. Sure, country star Vince Gill is Belmont's most famous alum and the basketball team's biggest fan, but as a graduate of the schools's Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, he's something of an anomaly. The CEMB is the Country (and Christian) music industry's largest incubator of future studio techs, songwriters, managers, entertainment lawyers and label execs. The school has practitioners from each of those professions on the faculty (along with professional expert witnesses, the veterans of those pesky intellectual property lawsuits). Each year, hundreds of Belmont students stock Nashville's intern programs, and other famous alumni include country singers Trisha Yearwood, Braid Paisley, and Josh Turner.


3. Mike Curb? The Belmont Bruins' home court is the Curb Event Center, which, like the CEMB, has been underwritten by Mike Curb. Who is Mike Curb, you ask? Well, he's the university benefactor who wrote the song "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda (Go Little Honda)" while a freshman in college, which he somehow parlayed into a career as a record industry mini-mogul. His later band The Mike Curb Congregation toured with the Osmonds and sold millions of albums despite sounding more white bread than even Bread itself. That's because Curb himself has a bit of a conservative streak — he also wrote "Together, A New Beginning," the campaign song for Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign, while he was the lieutenant governor of California. More often than not, his politics clouded his judgment. While running MGM Records in the 1970s, he brought aboard Roy Orbison and the Osmonds, and dumped The Velvet Underground because he didn't like the drug references. — Greg Lindsay

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