How the Madness Began

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is in full swing and it is time to get excited! Every year we watch in anticipation to see which team will earn the title of National Champion.  But when did this all begin?  Who was the first team to claim this prestigious title?  We did some digging and found the answers for you!

The first NCAA college basketball tournament, which is now known as March Madness, was played in 1939.  That means there have been 72 National Champions so far.  It was organized by the NCAA but actually held by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.  It is said that the idea was originally presented by Ohio State coach Harold Olsen.

The first tournament only had eight teams and was hosted at Patten Gymnasium in Evanston, Illinois.  The first National Champion was the University of Oregon Ducks.  Prior to 1975, only one team per conference we allowed into the tournament.  However, after highly ranked teams such as South Carolina, Southern Cal, and Maryland were not permitted to play, the NCAA began to place highly-ranked teams in the tournament not just the conference winners.  Although there currently are no consolation games, there was a third place game played from 1946-1981.  It was not until 1985 that the NCAA expanded the tournament to include 64 teams and in 2011 they expanded the field again to include 68 teams.

The tradition of cutting down the net after a team has won the National Championship game began in 1947 when the coach of North Carolina State, Everett Case, stood on his players’ shoulders to cut down the net after winning the championship game.  In 1967, the slam dunk was made illegal only to be brought back in 1976.  In 1986, the three-point field goal was introduced with the three-point line set at 19 feet, 9 inches from the center of the basket.

Now for a few fun facts:

Teams with the most NCAA Tournament appearances:

Kentucky (52)
North Carolina (43)
UCLA (42)
Kansas (41)
Louisville (38)

Teams with the most Final Four appearances:

North Carolina (18)
UCLA (18)
Duke (15)
Kentucky (14)
Kansas (13)

Teams with most NCAA Tournament appearances without reaching the Final Four:

BYU (26)
Missouri (24)
Xavier (22)
Utah State (20)
Alabama (19)
Tennessee (19)

Coaches with the most National Championship titles:

John Wooden (10)
Adolph Rupp (4)
Mike Krzyzewski (4)
Jim Calhoun (3)
Bob Knight (3)

Now that you are all brushed up on your NCAA Tournament history get ready to cheer on your team!


I’m reading Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge

Best (and Worst) College Mascots

March Madness is upon us, and as we flick on the TV and colleges campuses all around the country fill up the bleachers with screaming fans, it seems only fitting to take a look beyond the court and see who is cheering these teams on. While the outfits of the fans can be fun to watch, it’s usually the furry friends that take center stage. I’m of course talking about the team mascot!

The school’s mascot says a lot about the spirit and enthusiasm of a team. They are the ones who help rile up a crowd and often have their name and face plastered all over a campus. So which mascots would the paparazzi be lining up to capture a shot of and which ones are a little, how do you say, out of the ordinary? From Wildcats to Trolls, Bulldogs, and Gophers, there are mascots out that will make you laugh, and some that will no doubt leave you scratching your head.

Let’s start with the front-runners of this year’s tournament and teams that are predicted to go far. Could you name their mascots? Do you think you’ve ever heard of them, or could guess if someone made you try? If not, here is your chance to catch up. Feel free to jot down notes—stump your friends with new trivia!

The Kentucky Wildcats. The University of Kentucky has enthusiastic and obviously athletic students. Their fans are often referred to as the Big Blue Nation. Wildcats are a popular mascot—Kansas State is also home of the Wildcats, but the obviously prefer purple and white!

Syracuse is another team that is on the “watch list” for this year’s games. They are looking fresh and are ready to roll, coincidently so is their mascot—Otto the Orange! It may seem odd, an orange for a mascot, but you couldn’t ask for a brighter or healthier friend to cheer you on!

The Missouri Tigers are also roaring and ready for ball time. The home of Gold and Black have fans that are almost as fierce as their players and are sure to bring some tiger heat to the court!

Have you ever been to North Carolina? If you have I’m sure you’re familiar with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Their mascot is big horned Ram, Rameses. He has big ram muscles, a jersey and a huge following of fans. If I must say so myself, he looks great in blue!

I’m quite partial to the next team. The Kansas Jayhawks. I’m a Kansas girl, and have a brother who went to KU. And if you must know I still walk around wearing my 2008 National Championship shirt. I’m a La Salle Explorer now, but that won’t stop me from loving the Jayhawks through and through.

So what other reputable mascots are out there? Well of course there are the Duke Blue Devils, the Butler Bulldogs, and another family favorite—the Georgetown Hoyas, with “Jack the Bulldog” as the mascot.

Some mascots aren’t as mainstream, in fact may not have ever realized what they were!

Trinity College is home to the Trolls.  And then there’s Whittier College, home of the Poets— Do you think they all have the gift of rhyme? Concordia College is home to the Cobbers. Their mascot is a human sized cob of corn, again a very healthy choice. You know for sure their students are getting their full serving of vegetables—whether they happen to be real or school spirit driven!  Stanford University doesn’t have an “official” mascot, but their adopted cheerleader is the Standard Tree.  It’s said that it even changes its leaves with every season!

Mascots can be the heart and soul of a campus, or just a figment of every student’s imagination. Whether your mascot is well known, or locally loved and cherished, each character or symbol tells a story and showcases a little of what makes your school unique! Here’s hoping we seen a wide range of these guys on the sidelines this March!

-Ring Queen

I’m reading Biology

Social Media for College Athletics 101

Facebook is not only used to stalk people you went to high school with and to keep in touch with current friends while in college.  Collegiate athletes have been using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote their games, to grow their fan base, and to communicate well throughout their team.

Aside from Division I basketball and football teams, college sports do not get too much recognition.  It is a sad sight when you and your team are all pumped up for a big game against a rival and you look at your stands and see only a few parents and maybe someone’s boyfriend.

To rectify this situation, getting the word out about your team on Facebook is one of the best steps to take.  Between 80 and 90 percent of college students are not only on Facebook, but also are daily active users.  Creating a Facebook event a week or so before that rival game and having everyone on the team invite their friends is a great way to sell those tickets.

Creating a Facebook page for your team is another great way to gain support.  Having a team member create the page and invite their friends, then have other teammates “suggest friends” to their friends could be a great way to keep fans involved.  Posting statuses bi-weekly or even daily about recent games would remind college students of the game on their Facebook News Feeds, which is a place they are known to look when using Facebook.

Twitter is another great promotional tool.  Having teammates tweet a link to the school’s athletic website is a great way to start, along with tweeting game information.

Within a team, creating a Facebook group is a step closer to great communication, and one step away from those pestering group text messages.  Ensuring that everyone has and uses Facebook is obviously essential before doing so.  Also creating the group based off of the roster is a must to guarantee no one is forgotten.

Finally, posting highlights on YouTube shows college students why they should go to your game.  Getting a parent or the school even to video tape a game and having a film student edit it into a highlight reel could then be posted to YouTube and posted on the team’s Facebook page, tweeted, and posted by teammates.

Good luck this upcoming season and best of luck packing those stands!


I’m reading Chemistry: Principles and Reactions

Knicks or Nuggs?

Carmelo Anthony might be one of the most talked about NBA players right now. Of course, Kobe and LeBron will always be a popular topic but right now talk is about Melo. Carmelo is soon to be listed as a free agent! He has gotten offers from many teams but he has not made any commitments. He has played with the Denver Nuggets since 2003.
This is where the big talk comes in. Melo is to be a free agent, but where will he go? The Nuggets are willing to provide $65 million for a contract extension into the 2014-2015 season. The New York Knicks have also shown much interest in the young player. The New York Knicks could really use a successful played like Carmelo Anthony.
What will he decide? Where do you think Carmelo Anthony should go?

Tell us your predictions!

With love,
Kat VonD

I’m reading Psychology