Location: Cheney, Wash.
Conference: Big Sky
Coach: Jim Hayford
Record: 26-8 (14-4 Big Sky)
Kenpom ranking: 136
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): @ Indiana (53), @ Montana (162)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): Portland State (255), @ Sacramento State (198), @ Northern Arizona (190),
Tournament appearances: 2 (most recent: 2004)
Best result: No tournament wins
NBA alumni: Rodney Stuckey
Best name: Sir Washington
Famous alumni: Colin Cowherd, comic book author Todd McFarlane
We have already suggested that you adopt Eastern Washington as your favorite team, and we stand by that. Led by the nation's top scorer, sophomore Tyler Harvey, the Eagles play up-tempo, high-scoring offense. They've only been to the tourney once, in 2004. And they're good enough to top good squads -- they beat Indiana at Indiana.
Style of play: 3WU
As you might expect, the team with the nation's leading scorer is pretty good on offense. They go fast, shoot a lot of threes, and hit a lot of them: Over 40 percent of their shots are threes, and they hit 40 percent of them. And center Venky Jois shoots 60 percent from inside the arc. Defense is a sieve, but the Eagles are efficient enough that they can and do outscore squads.
Key player: The unknown superstar
You haven't heard of Tyler Harvey. That's wild, since he's the nation's leading scorer, but you're not alone. EWU head coach Jim Hayford hadn't heard of Tyler Harvey ... not even when he was a DIII coach. He ended up on a flight next to Harvey's dad, Frank, a ref, who asked the coach to take a look at his son, who had gone through a sudden growth spurt. Hayford offered Harvey a spot as a walk-on, but soon found out he had a gem on his hands.
So fresh and so clean
For reasons unbeknownst to us -- or, as hard as we look, anybody on the Internet -- EWU has a basketball Zamboni. We have never seen a basketball Zamboni before. All Google search results for "basketball Zamboni" lead to stories where somebody is saying "whoa, EWU has a basketball Zamboni!" Most people think mops are just fine.