NCAA Pants Party: Arkansas Vs. Bucknell

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This image was lost some time after publication.

Arkansas Razorbacks (22-9) vs. Bucknell Bison (26-4).
When: Friday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Dallas.



1. Razorbacks Are Bad Asses. In the summer of 1977, school mascot Big Red III escaped from an animal exhibit near Eureka Springs. He ravaged the countryside before an irate farmer gunned him down. The following mascot, Ragnar, killed a coyote, a 450-pound domestic pig and seven rattlesnakes. Ragnar died in 1978 of unknown causes. My guess: indigestion.

2. Kid Of Doom? At birth, Arkansas guard Johnathon Modica's grandparents debated what nickname to give the newborn. "My husband had another nickname," Sarah Harris, Modica s grandmother, said. "He wanted to call him Kid of Doom. I said, 'No, that doesn't sound right.' I said, 'We re going to call him Pookie.' He ll always be Pookie to me."

3. Like A Dangerous Flock Of Birds. The University s first mascot was actually the Cardinals. During the 1909 football season, Arkansas was 5-0 with a tilt vs. LSU in Memphis on the schedule. A win would virtually guarantee Arkansas an undefeated season. After Arkansas won 16-0, a crowd of students and other fans gathered at the train station to welcome their team home. After getting off the train, head coach Hugo Bezdek delivered an impromptu speech, telling the crowd that the team had played "like a wild band of razorback hogs" in the victory over LSU. The team went undefeated (7-0), and the name stuck. The university officially adopted the mascot, the only porcine mascot in college athletics, in 1910, with drunken hog calls following closely behind. — Zac Cosner


1. They Used To Be A Football Powerhouse. The Bison shocked the BCS establishment in 1935 by being invited to the first-ever Orange Bowl. Led by hall-of-fame coach Edward "Hook" Mylin, Bucknell rolled down south and blasted Miami 26-0. The Bison brought in a solid defensive gameplan, forcing Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde into playing one of the worst games of his career. Sadly, Bucknell didn t travel particularly well — they brought just two fans to the game — and haven t been to a bowl game since.


2. They Also Used To Be Bad At Shooting Free Throws. Bucknell really broke out on the national scene by beating Kansas in last year s NCAA tournament, but this era of Bucknell basketball was ushered in back in late 2003 when the Bison were playing then-No. 3 Michigan State in East Lansing. Bucknell carried a lead deep into the second half before falling 64-52, which in and of itself was a nice effort — until you learn that they shot a Carlton Banks-esque 1-for-17 from the foul line, perhaps the worst free throw shooting performance in the modern era of college basketball. It was on that day, though, that the Bison learned that they could compete with anyone, and haven t looked back.

3. Dude, Lewisburg Is Small. Of all likely NCAA tournament schools this year, Bucknell is located in the smallest town (and it s not even a town — it s a borough). Lewisburg has a population of around 6,000, or roughly one-sixth the basketball capacity of the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, where the Bison won earlier this season. Fortunately there s a movie theater in town; otherwise, the only thing to do would be to hang out and drink next to Christy Mathewson s grave. (Mathewson was an expert checkers player and Bucknell alum, who was also reportedly pretty good at baseball.) — Scott Sepich


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