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Southern Illinois Salukis

1. In Case You Haven't Heard, A Saluki Is A Breed Of Dog. Despite the fact that Southern Illinois is appearing in their fifth consecutive NCAA tournament (having reached the Sweet 16 in 2002) and that they are one of the top mid-major programs in the country, CBS will undoubtedly feel the need to remind you that SIU's mascot, the Saluki, is a dog. In fact, I'm willing to put some money down that Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg or some other nincompoop will say the following quote, verbatim: "Southern Illinois has a rather unusual mascot: The Saluki. A saluki is actually a breed of dog which is originally from Egypt. You don t hear about that one every day!" No we don t. But we do hear about it every March, when CBS reminds us. Thanks, guys.

2. Saluki Cheerleaders Always, Always, Always Finish Their Cheers. During a timeout of the Missouri Valley championship game, SIU cheerleader Kristi Yamaoka fell 15 feet from atop her pyramid, chipping a vertebra in her neck and suffering a concussion. But that didn t stop her from doing ... you guessed it ... THE PERFECT CHEER! While being carried off of the court by paramedics, and while strapped to a gurney (for crying out loud), Yamaoka began cheering along to Southern s fight song, "Go Southern Go." "I didn't want the team to get distracted. I needed them to win for me," Yamaoka later said. Needless to say, that in all of mankind's existence, it was one of the stranger things anyone has ever witnessed. Ever.

3. Korn Doesn t Like KoRn. Southern Illinois' star-player-turned-assistant-coach Brad Korn was interviewed by SIU's student paper, The Daily Egyptian, in 2001 and was asked if he enjoyed the music of 90's crap-rockers KoRn. Thankfully, he does not. He enjoys the type of music that every six-foot-nine, white, red-headed guy does: Ja Rule and R. Kelly. — Alex Fritz

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