NCAA Tournament Fun Facts: The East Region

Tidbits and facts you may not know about the schools hoping to play in Syracuse.

By SHARE

Look through these 16 bits of trivia—one fact for each team or school—and impress your friends with your knowledge of the NCAA Tournament's participants. Schools are listed by regional seed, starting with No. 1.

1. The University of Kentucky (public, founded in 1865) will make its record 50th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats (32-2) take on East Tennessee State at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday in New Orleans.

2. West Virginia University (public, founded in 1867) has produced 25 Rhodes scholars. The Big East tournament champion Mountaineers (27-6) play Morgan State at 12:15 p.m. on Friday in Buffalo.

3. The mascot for the University of New Mexico (public, founded in 1889), the Lobo, is Spanish for "wolf." A student manager of New Mexico's football team came up with the nickname. The Lobos (29-4) meet Montana at 9:50 p.m. on Thursday night in San Jose, Calif.

4. The University of Wisconsin–Madison (public, founded in 1848) first created E-mail accounts for its students in 1993. The Badgers (23-8) tip off against Wofford at 3 p.m. on Friday in Jacksonville, Fla.

5. Philadelphia-based Temple University (public, founded in 1888) was created in the basement of the Baptist Temple by Russell Conwell, who tutored young men who couldn't otherwise afford an education. They were called "the night owls," which, in shortened form, remains the nickname for Temple's athletic teams. The Owls (29-5) play Cornell at 12:30 p.m. on Friday in Jacksonville.

6. Marquette University (private, founded in 1881), in Milwaukee, is the largest private university in Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles (22-11) and Washington will tangle at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday in San Jose.

7. Clemson University (public, founded in 1889) has the 295-acre South Carolina Botanical Garden right on its campus. The Tigers (21-10) battle Missouri at 2:45 p.m. on Friday in Buffalo.

8. The University of Texas (public, founded in 1883) is one of only two athletics departments in the country to run separate athletics programs for its men's and women's teams. The Longhorns (24-9) play Wake Forest at 9:45 p.m. on Thursday in New Orleans.

[Check out our full March Madness coverage.]

9. Wake Forest University (private, founded in 1834) has hosted two presidential debates, both involving a Bush. George H. W. Bush, who was then vice president, debated Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988; Texas Gov. George W. Bush took on Vice President Al Gore in 2000. The Demon Deacons are 19-10.

10. University of Missouri (public, founded in 1839) is home to the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, which has the world's most powerful research nuclear reactor. Coach Mike Anderson led the Tigers to a 22-10 finish.

11. The University of Washington (public, founded in 1861) receives more federal research funding than any other public university in America and the second most among all universities and colleges. The Huskies (24-9) won the Pac-10 tournament.

12. Cornell University (private, founded in 1865) was the first Ivy League school to enroll women. The Big Red (27-4) are in their second consecutive NCAA Tournament.

13. Wofford College (private, founded in 1854) has what it calls an "interim period," a monthlong break from classes when students are encouraged to travel, work, or volunteer. The 26-8 Warriors are making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

14. Rolling Stone said that the University of Montana (public, founded in 1893) has the most scenic campus in America. The Grizzlies (22-9) needed a huge second-half comeback to win the Big Sky tournament.

15. Academy Award winner Mo'Nique is an alum of Morgan State University (public, founded in 1867). The 27-9 Bears have won two consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles.

16. East Tennessee State University (public, founded in 1911) offers one of the nation's few master's degrees in storytelling. The Buccaneers (20-14) won the Atlantic Sun Conference.

[See facts about the other three regions: South | Midwest | West]

Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of America's Best Colleges.