March Madness: 16 Facts About Colleges in the NCAA Tournament's South Region

How much do you know about the schools in the South region of the 2009 men's basketball tournament?

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Here are 16 trivia tidbits you should know about the colleges in the South region of the NCAA men's basketball tournament before the tipoff this week.

1. The University of North Carolina (public, founded in 1789) was the country's first state university and the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century.

2. So what exactly is a "sooner," the team nickname of the University of Oklahoma (public, founded in 1890)? An "energetic individual who travels ahead of the human procession," the school says.

3. In 1886, students at Syracuse University in New York (private, founded in 1870) burned down their "ramshackle" gymnasium.

4. The basketball team at Gonzaga University in Washington (private, founded in 1887) got its start in 1905.

5. The University of Illinois (public, founded in 1867) is home to more than 1,000 registered student organizations, coalitions, honor societies, and teams.

6. Since 1992, only Harvard and Yale have had more students than Arizona State University (public, founded in 1885) selected for USA Today's ranking of the nation's top 20 undergraduates.

7. Clemson University in South Carolina (public) was originally founded as a military school in 1889.

8. Since the start of its athletics programs in 1893, Louisiana State University (public, founded in 1860) has won 43 national championships in nine different sports and has claimed 109 Southeastern Conference titles.

9. Before 1919, the sports teams of Butler University in Indiana (private, founded in 1855) were known as the Christians. They traded that name for the Bulldogs, in honor of a fraternity mascot on campus.

10. The famous "winged helmet" design used by the football team of the University of Michigan (public, founded in 1817) is actually based on an old design for the Princeton University team.

11. Temple University (public, founded in 1884) was the first school in the nation to adopt the owl as its team nickname.

12. The men's basketball team of Western Kentucky University (public, founded in 1906) went to the Final Four in 1971 and was runner-up in the National Invitation Tournament in 1942.

13. In 1909, the world's first courses in rubber chemistry were offered at the University of Akron (public, founded in 1870). The city was home to Goodyear, Firestone, and Goodrich.

14. Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas (public, founded in 1923) chose the Lumberjacks (and Ladyjacks) as team nicknames in honor of the piney woods that were near the campus.

15. Morgan State University (public, founded in 1867) is the fastest-growing college in Maryland. Over the past 10 years, undergraduate enrollment at Morgan has grown by more than 35 percent.

16. In 1972, after almost 60 years as an all-women's college, Radford University in Virginia (public, founded in 1910) became coeducational.