You may know everything there is to know about the teams playing in Buffalo’s NCAA bracket, but do you know these interesting tidbits about the Universities behind them?
• University of Connecticut: The Huskies. Founded in 1881 in a former Civil War orphanage in Storrs, in rural northeastern Connecticut, and considered a public Ivy League college, UConn began as an agricultural school for boys called Connecticut Agricultural College.
• University of Dayton: The Flyers. It is one of three Marianist Catholic universities in the nation and the largest private university in Ohio. The invention of the HeatWave hot bag, a pouch used by Domino’s Pizza to keep delivered pizzas piping hot, is among the more than 140 patents assigned to the school.
• University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: The Panthers. Wisconsin’s second-largest campus, it has the only graduate school of freshwater science in the U.S. In addition, several fictional characters on the television show “Happy Days” attended UWM. In one episode, patriarch Howard Cunningham tries to entice daughter Joanie to attend the school instead of UCLA by promising to buy her a car.
• Ohio State University: The Buckeyes. Ohio’s flagship school, its location in the state capitol of Columbus was engineered by then-Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1878, the fledgling school’s first graduating class had just six students. More than 63,000 students are enrolled there today, making it one of the most populous schools in the country.
• Saint Joseph’s University: The Hawks. The nation’s seventh-oldest Jesuit university, it sits in one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The private university has a small community of about 100 Jesuit priests living on campus, about 23 of whom serve as faculty.
• Syracuse University: The Orange. In 1961, Syracuse University football player Ernie Davis became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. A residence hall at the school bears his name today. Marv Albert and Bob Costas are among the scores of media personalities who are alumni of its S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
• Villanova University: The Wildcats. Founded just outside Philadelphia in 1842 by the Catholic Religious Order of Saint Augustine, several eventual celebrities attended the school, including country singer Toby Keith, Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper and “American Pie” singer Don McLean. It is the oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania.
• Western Michigan University: The Broncos. Home to the Institute for Medieval Studies, the Kalamazoo-based school has hosted the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies every year since 1970, drawing thousands of scholars specializing in the Middle Ages from around the globe. The school also has one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious aviation programs.