Why the "Farokhmanesh-ites" are my favorites going into the Sweet 16

3/23/10 in NCAABB   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

http://cdn.bleacherreport.com/images_root/images/photos/000/846/779/97904936.jpg.23489_cropped.jpg?1269132167The Northern Iowa Panthers have been easily the best "Cinderella" story in this still-early NCAA Tournament. Other than Cornell and St. Mary's, there is no team for me to root for anymore, and below are a few reasons why I'm choosing UNI as my "team to beat", getting to know the players, and what they are all about - in my mind, at least. We didn't know these guys a week ago, and I'm just glad that they're in the position they are.



For those that have watched the tiniest bit of the Tournament so far, you've probably run into the name Ali Farokhmanesh (FAH-roak-MA-nesh). Ali made the game-winning three pointer in the first round against 8th seeded UNLV. Then, in the huge upset over #1 Kansas, Farokhmanesh makes me even a larger believer, as he hit another three pointer to give Northern Iowa a 4 point lead with about 30 seconds left, eventually becoming the difference in UNI's win. Since those two shots, I have taken the liberty of changing their team name from the Panthers, to the Farokhmanesh-ites. Is it fair to give him the nickname of the team? Yes. But is he the only guy on this team worth talking about? Of course not.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/niwa/sports/m-baskbl/auto_headshot/3578127.jpeg

Jordan Eglseder, the starting center for UNI, received his scholarship before they even watched him pick up a basketball - why? He is 7'0'', and the only player taller than 6'9''. Height wins basketball games for UNI. What else does Eglseder have going for him? He looks like a 40 year old man to me when he's out on the floor, and he's balding. For a guy who's also in his twenties, and can see that "line" around my head where I know I'm going to start losing my own hair, he's someone I look up to.

http://thebiglead.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/400_orear1.jpg

Lucas O'Rear, the backup center has a pair of mutton chops. The best mutton chops that I've seen in the Tournament, and skyrockets over Dustin McGowan, who was a week ago, proud owner of the best chops in all of sports. Because of this "Chops Power", and Kalin Lucas' Achilles injury, I don't see how Michigan State can overcome the odds, it's simply impossible.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/niwa/sports/m-baskbl/auto_headshot/3578200.jpeg http://blog.oregonlive.com/collegebasketball_impact/2009/03/small_NIowa031509.jpg
The Koch brothers (pronounced "Coke") are everything you could want from Wisconsin kids - they're from a town nobody outside the state of Wisconsin can pronounce. Ashwaubenon. Mike (Kantwistaye) or any other Wisconsinite can please pronounce that town name for me - Merriam-Webster was no help whatsoever. http://www.sidelinehotties.com/images/2009/10/michelle-beadle-gunslinger-1.jpg



I'm clearly not the only one behind this team, as Michelle Beadle over on ESPN2's SportsNation created a little chant of her own that I'm a little jealous of - only because I didn't think of it first. "Fa-rok-hma-nesh, they're the best. Fa-rok-hma-nesh, they do more with less." She understands what the Farokhmanesh-ites have going for them, and after tearing her bracket up (like the millions who already have) can not help but root for this team.



http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c271/nfldjimmy86/NIU.png?t=1269332926As a white kid from Minnesota, if ever a team that I could picture myself being the 13th guy off the bench, it's Northern Iowa.  These guys are not the most athletic looking people out there, and are all from either Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, or Missouri. There's no "star" recruit from New York or California or one of those "outsider" states, just all upper-Midwest kids that aren't used to the big times, but have gelled into a Sweet 16 team.



The University of Northern Iowa, is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Cedar Falls (a town of 36,000) will not receive much of any coverage throughout the year, and was only known by me before this whole thing as just a suburb of Waterloo. But do you know what that town has now gotten in the few days since their upset over Kansas and stealing the hearts of many? The Dalai freakin' Lama. Now while it says he's coming May 18th, and "supphttp://www.wqad.com/media/alternatethumbnails/story/2010-01/51529401-08151036.jpgosedly" it was scheduled before Farokhmanesh's shots, I'm guessing he will be there to say hello to Ali and see the mutton chop powers of O'Rear. It's just a hunch.

http://www.stlsports.org/newsletter/Images/MVC%20Men.jpg

The Midwest Region is being played in St. Louis, MO, the same place Northern Iowa won the MVC Tournament to earn their way into the tournament. They're flawless there, and will continue to be so. It's something about that arch that scream victory for Northern Iowa.



Obviously, I know it's a long shot for these guys to get past Michigan State and the winner of Ohio St./Tennessee, but last Saturday I saw a basketball team beat what I thought (and many others) to be the best overall team in Kansas - and despite the close score late, it was a dominant performance by those boys in purple. Shooting, rebounding, defense; they know how to play, they are a complete team, and I thinhttp://isportsweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/uni-panther-logonov-DMR3.pngk will have a serious chance at making it to the Final Four. I wish these players and coaches the best of luck this next week, and I love seeing "bracket busters" like Northern Iowa, Cornell, St. Mary's, every year make the Tournament what it is. Kudos to them for what they've done already, and I'll be rooting for them all the way.
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7/26/10   |   drwurst   |   12 respect

w_g_walters wrote:
I think it's the new format. It's a pain in the butt to find new threads, and I still can't find where to post fan articles.

yeah I suppose. Still kind of a bummer tho. 

7/26/10   |   w_g_walters   |   221 respect

drwurst wrote:
 I just got a notification of a new comment in this thread, but it was an advertisement selling jerseys. Shame, shame. What has happened to Fan IQ? Most of the people I used to follow have dropped off the site.

I think it's the new format. It's a pain in the butt to find new threads, and I still can't find where to post fan articles.

7/21/10   |   drwurst   |   12 respect

 I just got a notification of a new comment in this thread, but it was an advertisement selling jerseys. Shame, shame. What has happened to Fan IQ? Most of the people I used to follow have dropped off the site.

3/29/10   |   drwurst   |   12 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
Yea, I definitely wept a little, I'm okay now though.

I am also extremely disappointed 

3/28/10   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
sorry for your loss.

Yea, I definitely wept a little, I'm okay now though.

3/28/10   |   kobe_lova   |   59485 respect

sorry for your loss.

3/27/10   |   drwurst   |   12 respect

Boski93 wrote:

Lucas O'Rear mutton chops > Chester A. Arthur's mutton chops

           

haha brilliant 

3/25/10   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

enjoy them now...their time is about up

3/25/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Lucas O'Rear mutton chops > Chester A. Arthur's mutton chops

           

3/25/10   |   marcus_nyce   |   26042 respect

Ali boombaye! - Ali Boombaye! His wide open 3 on the break was one of the most exciting things I've seen in a while! You have got to love those onions. Go UNI!

3/25/10   |   drwurst   |   12 respect

great article. I am also from minnesota 

3/24/10   |   samo__h__h

WBKsports wrote:
 Excellent article.  It's organized well and very thought out.  I love it that there are multiple photos as well because it gives more life to the article. Nicely done James.

yes

3/24/10   |   w_g_walters   |   221 respect

Lizzo wrote:
Great read! Scoring brackets this year has been wild. Gotta love Cinderella stories.....

My new brackets has St. Mary's!

3/24/10   |   WBKsports   |   366 respect

 Excellent article.  It's organized well and very thought out.  I love it that there are multiple photos as well because it gives more life to the article. Nicely done James.

3/24/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

Great read! Scoring brackets this year has been wild. Gotta love Cinderella stories.....

3/24/10   |   kobe_lova   |   59485 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
You should watch, there's plenty to watch for -- as for the verb part? shush you.

He's on my SI, i received today.

3/24/10   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

The UNI Farokhmaneshites nickname was approved over the following choices:
The UNI Brows
The UNI Sex
The UNI Cycles
The UNI T's

3/24/10   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
aww...this article just made me love them and i make break down and watch a game, maybe. good read kid, but are you supposed to end a sentence with a verb?

You should watch, there's plenty to watch for -- as for the verb part? shush you.

3/24/10   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

(Edited by sportsgnork)

wonder what if two lower seeds will be in the final?

3/24/10   |   sportsgnork   |   44 respect

(Edited by sportsgnork)

Proud to be half-persian!!!  Back to the point, UNI has really got me thinking that we could have a very low seed in the Final Four or even the championship game.  I believe Villanova was an 8 or 9 seed when they won it all in the 80's.

3/24/10   |   kobe_lova   |   59485 respect

aww...this article just made me love them and i make break down and watch a game, maybe. good read kid, but are you supposed to end a sentence with a verb?