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ARLINGTON (CBS11 SPORTS) – The UT Arlington Mavericks men’s basketball team is used to being downplayed.

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However, this year people are having to stop and take notice.

Leading the Sun Belt Conference, the Mavericks believe this is the year they make their way to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history.

The first and only appearance took place in 2008.

Asked “who they are” for the audience who isn’t familiar with the team, head coach Scott Cross said, “Fifteen tough guys who are capable of beating anyone.”

The team has a distinctive hometown flavor. Four members of the starting five are from the Metroplex. Kevin Hervey (Bowie), Jalen Jones (Cedar Hill), Erick Neal (Lincoln), and Drew Charles (Azle), are determined to help UTA get onto the college basketball map.

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Jones said, “We’re just trying to make a statement.”

The fifth member of the starting lineup, Jorge Bilbao is from the northern most city in Spain, named Bilbao.

He said he wishes he had a better story of how that came to be, but insists he is not a prince or any other part of royalty.

It is no coincidence that UTA is on the verge of something special.

The team’s motto of “Take The Stairs” is a way of saying nothing comes easy when you’re shooting for greatness.

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