Rhode Island Rams

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1. Crazy Eights. The Rams jumped out to one of their best starts in team history this season, starting 19-3 and reaching the 20-win plateau faster than any team in school history. Their other best years? 1977-78, 1987-88, and 1997-98. URI reached the big dance in each of those seasons, having the most success in the 97-98 season when they reached, you guessed it, the Elite 8. That year URI, an 8 seed, topped No. 1 overall seeded Kansas and Cinderella-story Valparaiso before falling to Stanford in the regional finals. This may seem like a fluke to some, but to the die-hard Ram fan, they can count on having only one good team every 10 years.

2. Hands off Jimmy! DON'T. TOUCH. JIMMY! Jimmy Baron, Rhode Island's best 3-point threat and one of their leading scorers, is the son of head coach Jim Baron. Younger son Jimmy has been rumored to shoot over a thousand practice three pointers a day, and many of them in the dark. Baron now holds the school record for most three pointers in a season, breaking his own record last year But the Jim/Jim Jr. combos of the past have not always worked out in URI's favor. The infamous duo of Jim Harrick and Jim Harrick Jr. were the head coach and assistant coach at Rhode Island from 1997-1999. Besides making it to the NCAA Tourney both years, they also changed grades for players, falsified hotel reports for recruits, and paying a secretary $250 to write a paper for a player, whom then sued Harrick for "sexual misconduct." Rhody is still on NCAA probation thanks to the Harricks.

3. Unflappable. One of Rhody's biggest Atlantic 10 rivals is the St. Joseph's Hawks. And it seems like anyone who is not a St. Joe's fan would find their mascot pretty annoying. It's a hawk known for its constant flapping at every game, both home and on the road. Several insults overheard from the student section at this year's St. Joe's/URI game were "Are you a man or a woman?" and "You look dumb!" Rhody fans can take great pride in their own mascot though, who infamously pounded the Hawk and was actually ejected from the game.


Things actually do happen in this "state." The official state drink of Rhode Island is coffee milk, possibly one of the most delicious culinary inventions ever created. It was first created by a drug store in Rhode Island in 1930 after one of the operators pondered what to do with the left over coffee grounds. Now served in the states public schools, Rhode Island now has the most wired and strung out students in New England. Rhode Island has also gained notoriety due to Providence mayor Buddy Cianci, who in 2001 was indicted racketeering, extortion and witness tampering charges. He was convicted and sentenced to Federal prison, and eventually released to a halfway home. Broadway cashed in on his story with "Buddy Cianci the Musical," a light hearted look at the life of the crooked mayor. — Adam Gray & David Ascoli