As the KU men's basketball team gears up for their first tournament game against Western Kentucky, Jayhawk fans everywhere are faced with a serious question.

What exactly is a Hilltopper?

His name is Big Red, and he is the mascot for Western Kentucky. He was born in 1979 and is known for belly shakes and slides.

The athletics department said the mysterious creature can best be described as the "Spirit of the Western." The school sits on top of a hill, which further explains the Hilltopper's name and Big Red's curves.

The Jayhawks tip off against the Hilltoppers at 8:50 p.m. Friday on TNT in the second round of the NCAA tournament.