Location: Laramie, WY

Conference: Mountain West

Mascot: Cowboys

Coach: Larry Shyatt

Record: 25-9 (11-7)

Kenpom ranking: 102

Good wins (Kenpom ranking): SDSU x 2 (27) Boise State x 2 (40) Colorado State x 2 (68)

Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): @ Air Force (204), Fresno State (193), @ California (116)

Tournament appearances: 15 (most recent: 2002)

Best result: Champions (1943)

NBA alumni: Theo Ratliff, Josh Davis and Fennis Dembo

Best name: Jack Bentz

Famous alumni: Dick Cheney and Lakers owner Jerry Buss

A bid thief! A senior-heavy team wasn't ready to let their careers end without getting the Cowboys to their first tournament since 2002, so Larry Nance Jr. and Co. won three squeakers in the Mountain West tournament. They even out-uglied San Diego State in an ugly 45-43 championship uglyfest.

Style of play: Slowpokes

The Pokes play ponderously, running the 343rd-fastest tempo in hoops. Their offense is pretty dismal -- they shoot a lot of threes even though they're a bad shooting team and actually have one of the top-15 two-point field goal percentages in the nation -- but it sets the tempo: 66.6 percent of the team's baskets are assisted, third-most in college basketball, a result of methodical passing until somebody's got a look.

Key player: Nance makes the dance

Larry Nance Jr. is a big man just like Larry Nance Sr., the three-time NBA All-Star. The 6'8 senior is a versatile stud: Of the 14 statistical categories Ken Pomeroy tracks, Nance is nationally ranked in 10. His offensive game is pretty versatile, too, so teams can't key in on him even though they know he's the team's breadwinner.

The Saga of the Pistols Pete

Wyoming's mascot is "Pistol Pete," a mustachioed cowboy based on Wild West lawman Frank Eaton, who famously avenged his father's death. One problem: Oklahoma State's mascot is also Pistol Pete, also based on Eaton. So is New Mexico State's. The relationship is contentious: after dueling patent filings, Wyoming and OSU agreed to use slightly different logos in 1993, while OSU and NMSU started up a legal battle this year before reaching agreement.