From dinosaur eggs to on-campus nuclear reactors, one interesting fact about each NCAA Tournament school

Making selections in your March Madness bracket can be hard.

Some people make picks based on what they’ve watched this season, while more casual fans will make picks by school colors, mascots or flipping a coin.

If you’re still struggling about who to pick into the next round or root for, here are some interesting tidbits for each first-round team, sports related or not. 

Abilene Christian: You may not know, but Abilene Christian is one of the most successful athletic schools in the country. Across their time as members of the NAIA, NCAA Division II and Division I, they have 65 national championships.

Alabama: A national championship would mean the Crimson Tide would join Florida as the only schools to win the title in football and basketball in the same school year.

Arkansas: You may not think of them as a basketball school, but only five schools (North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State) have more Final Four appearances than the Razorbacks, with their last one coming in 1995.

Baylor: It is the oldest continually operating university in Texas, and it was founded before Texas even became a state.

BYU: Owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no athletics team competes on Sundays because of its Honor Code, which will be accommodated should the Cougars make the Sweet 16.

Clemson: There’s a secret book on campus that each senior class signs and is preserved. If the Tigers can make their first Final Four in school history, their secret book will be filled with the names of campus legends other than football.

Cleveland State: One of two schools in Division I with the nickname Vikings (Portland State), they were known as the Fenn Foxes until the state of Ohio purchased the campus.

Colgate: Their geology center is home to one of the oldest fossils in history, as they have an 80 million-year-old dinosaur egg. It was given to the university after a former board of trustees member won it in an auction for $5,000.

Colorado: Like Baylor, the University of Colorado Boulder was founded before its state officially became a part of the United States by five months.

Connecticut: They are one of the most successful teams when it comes to playing for the title, as they are 4-0 in national championship games.

Creighton: Along with Gonzaga, Loyola Chicago and Georgetown, Creighton is one of the 28 schools nationwide that are part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

Drake: The school, named after Civil War union general Francis Marion Drake, is the only founding member remaining in the Missouri Valley Conference, which was established in 1907.

Drexel: The only Dragons in Division I, they were the first university in the world to require its students to use microcomputers in 1984 after partnering with Apple, according to PhillyMag.

Eastern Washington: The Eagles have one of the best brother duos in the country in Tanner and Jacob Groves, who average a combined 25.1 ppg and 12.1 rpg.

Florida: The Gators have found tournament success since winning their last championship in 2007, as they’ve won a game in seven consecutive appearances. In five of those seasons, they reached the Elite Eight.

Florida State: The school says it does not have a mascot. Instead, it has "the honor of calling ourselves Seminoles in admiration of the only Native American tribe never conquered by the U.S. Government."

Georgetown: Head coach Patrick Ewing is one of nine active coaches who have won a national championship as a player, but he will try to be the first to win a title at his alma mater.

Georgia Tech: It’s main campus is in Atlanta, but there are Yellow Jackets all over the world, as they have international campuses in France and China.

Gonzaga: The basketball players aren’t the only ones flying high; over 56% of undergrads study abroad before graduating.

Grand Canyon: The only for-profit university in Division I will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance after leaving Division II in 2013.

Hartford: They’ve been a Division I school since 1984, but Hartford is in its first NCAA Tournament.

Houston: One of four Division I universities located in Houston, their arena, the Fertitta Center, is named after alumnus and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

Illinois: The Big Ten tournament champion has made it to the Final Four in the past two tournaments, a good omen for Illinois. The Illini will try to be the first national champion from the conference since 2000.

Iona: Named the Gaels after their founders, who were known as the Irish Christian Brothers. A Gael is someone of Irish-Gaelic ancestry.

Iowa: There must be something about the ability to shoot in Iowa City, as they have some of the highest scoring players in men’s basketball (Luka Garza, 23.7 ppg) and women’s basketball (Caitlin Clark, 27.4 ppg).

Kansas: The Jayhawks will enter their 31st consecutive NCAA Tournament, the longest streak in college basketball history, and they haven’t lost in the opening round since 2006.

Liberty: Has the largest undergrad enrollment out of the entire field, with 47,025 undergrads in 2019, according to U.S. News.


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