Sports Briefs: What I Learned From All the 2014 March Madness Schools

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Joe: I learned that Albany's mascot is the Great Dane . . . pretty cool.

Chris: I learned that American University is located in Washington D.C., and that their campus was used by the military during World War I and II for testing and was home to the U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School, which eventually caused students to ask one another, “You mean that literally?” when one of them said, “I just bombed my test.”

Brad: I learned that Arizona fans yell “Boing” when opposing players dribble the ball because yelling “Splat” just didn't work.

Ralphie: I learned that Arizona State's mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil.

Joe: I learned that Baylor’s fight song is “Old Fite”???? Got to hear that one.

Chris: I learned that Brigham Young University’s founder and namesake, Brigham Young, had 55 wives.

Brad: I learned that Cal Poly' s coach actually prefers Camaros.

Ralphie: I learned that Cincinnati's mascot is the Bearcat.

Joe: I learned that Coastal Carolina is located in Conway, S.C., and their mascot is Chauncey the Chanticleer.

Chris: I learned that Colorado had the nation’s first zero-waste stadium, meaning students and administration did an admirable job of getting fans to recycle, compost and keep from using the bathroom during sporting events.

Brad: I learned that Balto is not on UConn's Huskies of Honor list.

Ralphie: I learned that Creighton's mascot is Billy the Blue Jay.

Joe: I learned that Dayton is located in Dayton, Ohio, and nicknamed the Flyers.

Chris: I learned that Delaware’s mascot is a blue chicken, which is also the state bird of Delaware and is likely to be the only fowl the Smurfs would ever consider taking to the chopping block.

Brad: I learned that the Duke Blue Devils are blue from the cold, since they didn't have an indoor court until 1940.

Ralphie: I learned that Eastern Kentucky's mascot is the Colonels.

Joe: I learned that the Florida Gators are ranked No. 1 overall in the tourney, and if they win it, it would be their third.

Chris: I learned that George Washington University is located in Washington D.C., and that both Colin Powell and Jacqueline Kennedy graduated from there, though had they had known they would be living in Washington years later, they could have simply commuted to school.

Brad: I learned the Gonzaga Bulldogs' first team had no coach.

Ralphie: I learned that Harvard's mascot is John Harvard, and their nickname is Crimson.

Joe: I learned that Iowa State is located in Ames, Iowa, and uses a cardinal, Cy, as its mascot instead of an actual tornado or Cyclone.

Chris: I learned that Kansas’ most famous supporter (and possible alumni) is faster than a speeding Jayhawk, able to leap the tallest building on campus and was wearing a Jayhawks T-shirt when he watched Jonathan Kent get swept away by a tornado in “Man of Steel.”

Brad: I learned that Kansas State fights their rival the Kansas Jayhawks for the Governor's Cup every year because it's the biggest cup in the state.

Ralphie: I learned that Kentucky's mascot is wildcats.

Joe: I learned that Louisiana-Lafayette are the Rajin' Cajuns, and their mascot is Cayenne. Whoo, that's hot.

Chris: I learned that Louisville’s law school was too much for Diane Sawyer, causing her to drop out after one semester and pursue a journalism degree instead.

Brad: I learned that the Manhattan Jaspers got their name from founding coach, Brother Jasper.

Ralphie: I learned that Massachusetts' mascot is Sam the Minuteman.

Joe: I learned that the Memphis Tigers have been in 25 NCAA tourneys and made three Final Fours.

Chris: I learned that Mercer is located in Georgia and provided Headline News with Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor who many would describe, unknowingly accurately, as a Bear.

Brad: I learned Michigan started a basketball team due to public demand but ended after the first season when no fans showed up.

Ralphie: I learned that Michigan State's mascot is Sparty.

Joe: I learned that Milwaukee is the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and their mascot is a panther. Their colors are black and gold.

Chris: I learned that Nebraska, unfortunately, did not introduce Johnny Carson at his 1949 graduation by handing him a diploma while saying, “Here’s Johnny!”

Brad: I learned that New Mexico's mascots, Lobo Louie and Lobo Lucy, are cheerleaders who run thru the fans getting them to howl.

Ralphie: I learned that New Mexico State's mascot is Pistol Pete.

Joe: I learned that North Carolina is located in Chapel Hill, and they are the Tar Heels.

Chris: I learned that North Carolina Central is located in Durham, just seven minutes away from Duke, which might explain why this is NCC’s first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Brad: I learned that North Carolina State's Wolfpack used to be called the Red Terrors.

Ralphie: I learned that North Dakota State's mascot is Thundar.

Joe: I learned that Ohio State is located in Columbus, and their nickname is the Buckeyes. A buckeye is a small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch that comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree. According to folklore, the Buckeye resembles the eye of a deer and carrying one brings good luck. "Buckeyes" has been the official Ohio State nickname since 1950.

Chris: I learned that Oklahoma’s Sooner nickname originated in 1908 and describes someone always ahead and more ambitious than his counterparts. An example in a sentence - that is a favorite among Oklahoma’s opponents - would be, “Oklahoma will lose sooner or later.”

Brad: I learned that the Oklahoma Cowboys originally were coached by football coaches.

Ralphie: I learned that Oregon's mascot is the Oregon Duck.

Joe: I learned that Pittsburgh’s mascot is Roc the Panther.

Chris: I learned that Providence is located in the capital city of Providence, R.I., which was named in honor of God’s providence by city founder Roger Williams, who also successfully convinced a large-headed friar to leave his monastery and accept the position of college mascot.

Brad: I learned that St. Joseph’s Hawks basketball is so popular that the first practice is open to fans and starts at midnight.

Ralphie: I learned that St. Louis' mascot is the Billikens.

Joe: I learned that the San Diego State mascot is the Aztec Warrior.

Chris: I learned that Stanford is the alma mater of 30 billionaires, 17 astronauts, President Herbert Hoover and Richard Sherman.

Brad: I learned that players at Stephen F. Austin are Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks because of the forestry industry surrounding the campus.

Ralphie: I learned that Syracuse's mascot is Otto the Orange.

Joe: I learned that the Tennessee Volunteers mascot is Smokey, a bluetick coonhound who first appeared in 1953.

Chris: I learned that Texas’ original mascot was a pit bulldog named Pig, and that the longhorn was not adopted until 1916, at which point Bevo most likely ate Pig.

Brad: I learned Tulsa's team took a five-year break after their first season.

Ralphie: I learned that UCLA's mascot is Joe and Josephine the Bruin.

Joe: I learned that Villanova is located in Villanova, Penn., and the Villanova Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 33 times, the eighth highest total in NCAA history.

Chris: I learned that Virginia is the only college ever founded by a United States president. This is most likely because Thomas Jefferson was a basketball fan whose alma mater, William & Mary, was never able to make it into March Madness.

Brad: I learned VCU and ODU compete every year in the Black & Blue Classic.

Ralphie: I learned that Weber State's mascot is Waldo the Wildcat.

Joe: I learned that Western Michigan is located in Kalamazoo, and their mascot is the Bronco.

Chris: I learned that Wichita State is located in Kansas and began as Fairmount College in 1896 and was initially called the “Young Ladies College” because they only admitted ladies 12 years old and above who were able to read, write and dunk a basketball.

Brad: I learned that the Wisconsin Badger didn't get his name Bucky until 1949.

Ralphie: I learned that Wofford's mascot is the College Terrior.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.
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