Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

UAB Blazers

Illustration for article titled UAB Blazers

1. Alabama-Birmingham My Ass It's UAB. Do we call the Bruins California-Los Angeles? No. So quit pretending that UAB is some sort of second-tier affiliate state school on the order of Louisiana-Monroe. Even though Alabama-Tuscaloosa refuses to play UAB in basketball due to an age-old recruiting rivalry, the teams have met once in the NIT. UAB prevailed, 58-56. Also, unrelatedly, don't read this article.

2. The Indiana Connection. UAB's head coach Mike Davis and star player Robert Vaden are transfers from Indiana. In fact, Davis is the only recent Indiana coach to have started the year as a head coach and still have his job come March. (Doubters would say that he lacks both the fire of Bob Knight and the texting skillz of Kelvin Sampson, but UAB fans are impressed by his ability to lure away stars from other programs, including former Mississippi State forward Walter Sharpe and Georgia guard Channing Toneyboth are now averaging double digits for the Blazers.) But Davis's real coup was convincing Vaden — who's averaging 21 points-plus — to come with him to the 'Ham.

3. The Memphis Curse. The last team from Conference USA to beat Memphis was UAB ... in 2006. This year, up by 7 with 87 seconds to play, UAB somehow managed to lose to the Tigers at home. The signature photo of the aftermath — featuring both a retarded sign and a facial slap, is a microcosm of the Blazers recent history with Calipari's club. — David Goldenberg

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