Big South Conference

Travel an extra grind for Division I's smallest schools

As the bus rolls past mileage signs for places like Malad City, Arimo and Woodruff, the long frames of Northern Arizona's basketball players splay across the seats. Heads rest on makeshift pillows of jackets and backpacks, legs stretch across aisles, feet rise above headrests.

Outside, flurries dance in the headlights as roadside reflectors flash like car turn signals. Yellow weed stalks, evidence of a recent thaw, peek through the white blanket along the highway.

Pockets of dense fog envelop the bus, visibility measured in yards for perilous moments before thankfully clearing.

The players are oblivious to the cold world outside. Their only concern is finding...

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