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Better Know a Regional Opponent: The No. 2 Seed Indiana State Fightin’ Larry Bird’s Ridiculous Moustaches

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Though they claim to be nicknamed “Sycamores,” that’s just what they called it when Larry Bird got chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers stuck in his nose neighbor.

Facts: Blondes may have more fun, but should have fewer moustaches.

From my 2015 series preview of The Indiana State Fightin’ Larry Bird’s Ridiculous Moustaches:

Here is the totality of knowledge I possess about Indiana State University: 1) Larry Bird went there. 2) Larry Bird’s unnerving moustache went there. 3) Their uniforms are blue.

Well, now we know a fourth thing: We beat them 7-1 on Tuesday, April 16th in a game that kick started a 13 game win streak. I think we would all settle for a win streak of similar length following our possible game two match-up this Saturday.

The School: Indiana State University.

Location: Terre Haute, Indiana. The school is right by the Eugene V. Debs Museum. Fun fact: Debs ran for president an astonishing 5 times as the candidate for the Socialist Party of America. Even more fun fact: He was a portrait photographer whose business operated under the name “Glamour Shots by Debs” (citation needed).

Less fun fact: In 1923, the largest Klan rally ever was held in Forest Park, which is 5 miles from Terre Haute. Fuck the state of Indiana is what I’m saying.

The Mascot: The Sycamores Larry Bird’s Ridiculous Moustaches.

Record: 41-16, 13-8 in the Missourah Valley Conference.

How’d they get here? Automatic bid, like everybody else in the Nashville Regional. This is the only team other than the Dores who would have gotten in regardless of their conference tournament (likely). Went 5-1 in the MVC tournament, which is such a true double elimination format tourney, they had to beat Dallas Baptist twice this past Saturday to claim the crown.

Best win: Other than beating DBU twice to claim the Missourah Valley crown? Beat the University of Illinois 3-1 in a mid-week game in March. Of course, they lost to Illinois in a midweek game in May. So... meh.

Most embarrassing loss: Probably a February loss to the #207 RPI Western Carolina Kanamits. Not so much that they lost a midweek game at a meh team when it was still cold out, but that they trusted the Kanamits when they had only translated a small portion of the Kanamit book To Serve Man, and myopically got onto the spaceship to go to the Kanamit home planet. It was a cook book!!!

Most terrifying batter: RS Jr. IF Nolan “The Unblemished” Brimbury. Brimbury is batting an astounding 1.000 on the year. In his lone at bat, he hit a double. Coach Mitch Hannahs promptly benched him, lest he think he’s better than everybody.

*Note: If you think I’m being unduly snarky, take a look at their batting stats. They’ve got some perfectly cromulent hitters, like senior infielders Jarrod “Inanimate Carbon Rod” Watkins and Clay “And Dragons” Dungan, but no one who would qualify as even remotely terrifying.

Best pitcher: Likely Friday starter Triston “Shandy” Polley (7-1, 2.53 ERA), a senior soft-tossing lefty. The less said about that, the better. If they pitch Polley against McNeese State (likely), and win (also likely), we will (likely) face RS Jr. RHP Collin “The Liberator” Liberatore (10-1, 2,78 ERA). Pitching is the clear strength of the Fightin’ Larry Bird’s Ridiculous Moustaches. They have a 3.60 team ERA.

Best NCAA Tournament result: They made it to Omaha in 1986, where they promptly went 2 and Que. They swept the Mideast Regional 3-0 that year. They didn’t have the Super Regional round back then.

Should Vanderbilt Be Scared? No. Disturbed by blonde moustaches? Yes. Scared? No.