It's hard to say that there's such a thing as upsets in single-bid low-to-mid-majors like the Ohio Valley Conference, but the Belmont Bruins losing to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday was fairly close to that. Not just because the Bruins are a solid team with a decent tournament track record, although there's that. But the Bruins also have a program-wide dedication to excellence and competition that makes them tough to pick against. Witness, for example, the stellar work of the Broins, the school's unofficial all-male dance team, seen here performing an improvised piece of their own composition on ESPN.
While all three Broins deliver the sort of gutsy, all-in performances that we've come to associate with the month of March, it's worth singling out Belmont Dreads Bro for his dedication, endurance and overall virtuosity. What begins as a three-man dance-off is, by the end, something of a blowout — the other two Broins, once their defeat has been made clear, classily make their way offstage and let Dreads Bro shine on like the crazy diamond he is.
If you're surprised to see these sorts of moves and hairstyles in the Ohio Valley Conference, please remember that (1) a "Bruin" is a bear and (2) Belmont's bear logo looks like this:
Best of luck to Dreads Bro, his fellow Broins, and Belmont in whatever non-NCAA tournament is lucky enough to host them. March will be great, because it generally is, but it will be better with more Dreads Bro in the monitors.
(A note: this video was uploaded by YouTube user Bill Austin, and was initially unlisted and private. In getting his permission to post it, Austin kindly took me behind the scenes on the video's creation. Here is what he told me:
I am a father of 3 boys and we were having a small birthday gathering for my 11 year old son... all the kids were downstairs playing with the new toys while the adults were upstairs chatting about a whole lot of nothing when I heard Adrian Branch (I'm a giant Terp fan) on the TV. When I looked over I saw the guys behind Adrian dancing and I immediately stopped everyone, grabbed my remote and rewound and recorded the whole 30-plus seconds so everyone else could enjoy what I just witnessed. I knew right then and there two things. 1) If I were that age and had the opportunity I would have been right there doing the sprinkler or the running man, horribly and 2) These guys just made a grown man laugh for 10 minutes straight and made me remember that sometimes being ridiculous and unexpected is just fricking awesome.
In conclusion, Bill Austin is just as much of a hero as Belmont Dreads Bro.)
Hat tip to Brendan Flynn