2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 18, 2003, ended with the championship game on April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Superdome. A total of 64 games were played; the Final Four consisted of Kansas, making their second straight appearance, making their first appearance since they won the national championship in 1977, making their first appearance since 1996, Texas, making their first appearance since 1947. Texas was the only top seed to advance to the Final Four. Syracuse won their first national championship in three tries under Jim Boeheim, defeating Kansas 81–78 in what would be Roy Williams' final game as head coach of the team. Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Syracuse beat four Big 12 teams on its way to the title: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas; those victories helped earn Boeheim the national title that had eluded him in 1987 and 1996.
The 2003 play-in game was played on Tuesday, March 18, at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, as it had been since its inception in 2001. The first and second-round games were played at the following sites: March 20 and 22 Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah RCA Dome, Indiana Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Washington March 21 and 23 BJCC Arena, Alabama FleetCenter, Massachusetts Gaylord Entertainment Center, Tennessee St. Pete Times Forum, Florida The regional final sites were: March 27 and 29 Midwest Regional, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota West Regional, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, California March 28 and 30 East Regional, Pepsi Arena, New York South Regional, San Antonio, Texas Each regional winner advanced to the Final Four at the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, hosted by the Sun Belt Conference and the University of New Orleans; the semi-final games were held on April 5 and the final on April 7, 2003. New Orleans was the host city for the fourth time, the first time since 1993.
There were three new venues, only one of, in a new host city. For the first time, the tournament came to Spokane and the Spokane Arena. Previous games in eastern Washington had been played on the campus of Washington State University, host of the games despite the arena being the alternate home court for the Gonzaga Bulldogs; the tournament returned to Oklahoma City in 2003, to the then-new Ford Center, which replaced the Cox Convention Center across the street as the city's major arena. And for the first time since 1983, the tournament returned to the city of Tampa at the St. Pete Times Forum, home to the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning; the tournament had been held across Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg three times between appearances in Tampa. To date, this is the last tournament to feature what is now known as the Times Union Center in Albany. At Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans April 5, 2003 Syracuse 95, Texas 84, Complete Game on YouTubeFreshman Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points leading the Syracuse Orangemen past the Texas Longhorns in the night cap of the National Semifinal doubleheader.
Syracuse opened up a comfortable 2nd half lead, but, trimmed to four with just 1:08 remaining. However, freshman Gerry McNamara iced the game with clutch foul shooting in the final minutes; the win put Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim one win away from their first National Championship. Texas was the last number one seed remaining in the tournament. Kansas 94, Marquette 61, Complete Game on YouTubeThe Kansas Jayhawks routed the Marquette Golden Eagles by 33 points, the fourth largest blowout in Final Four history. Keith Langford led the Jayhawks with 24 points, Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Miles each added 18 points. Like Boeheim, Kansas coach Roy Williams was just one win away from winning his first National Championship. April 7, 2003 Syracuse 81, Kansas 78, Complete Game on YouTubeLeading up to the championship game, much of the conversation revolved around how, no matter the outcome, one of the well-known head coaches would win their first championship. In Jim Boeheim's 27 years as head coach at Syracuse his team had been to two Final Fours, finished runner-up each time.
Roy Williams, during his fifteen seasons as Kansas head coach, had reached the Final Four four times, finished runner up once. Syracuse dominated with a hot shooting first half to lead by 11 at the break. Gerry McNamara connected on an impressive six three-pointers in the half, which were his 18 points for the game. Kansas fought back to within 80–78 in the final minute and had a chance to tie after Hakim Warrick missed a pair of free throws in the final moments. Warrick, however blocked Michael Lee's three point attempt with 1.5 seconds remaining on the game clock. After Kirk Hinrich's three-pointer at the buzzer went over the net, Syracuse's victory gave them, Jim B
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States; the tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games held in Dayton and dubbed Selection Sunday; the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next.
Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round; the Final Four is played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region, compete in a preselected location for the national championship; the tournament has been at least televised since 1969. The games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally.
As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament. With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; the University of Kentucky is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles; the University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; the NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most being an increase of the number of teams. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played during April. Thirty-two teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.
Of the 32 Division I "all-sports" conferences, all 32 hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. The Ivy League was the last Division I conference. If two or more Ivies shared a regular-season championship, a one-game playoff was used to decide the tournament participant. Since 2017, the league conducts their own postseason tournament; the remaining 36 tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans, by a group of conference commissioners and school athletic directors who are appointed into service by the NCAA. The committee determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket; the tournament is divided into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee.
The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams from wherever they come from. The names of the regions vary from year to year, are broadly geographic. From 1957 to 1984, the "Mideast" corresponding to the Southeastern region of the United States, designation was used. From 1985 to 1997, the Mideast region was known as "Southeast" and again changed to "South" starting from 1998; the selected names correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South, Midwest (St. Louis, Mis
Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 68 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I college basketball national champion for the 2015–16 season. The 78th edition of the Tournament began on March 15, 2016, concluded with the championship game on April 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Upsets were the story of the first round of the Tournament. At least one 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 seed won a first-round game for the third time and the first time since 2013. In the Final Four, Villanova defeated Oklahoma. Villanova defeated North Carolina to win the championship on a three-point buzzer beater by Kris Jenkins. Pundits called the game one of the best in tournament history, going on to say this was one of the most competitive finals ever; the Round of 64 was known as the Second Round since the 2011 edition, but it was reverted to the moniker First Round for this coming tournament. The First Four was named the First Round.
First Four March 15 and 16 University of Dayton Arena, Ohio First and Second Rounds March 17 and 19 Dunkin' Donuts Center, Rhode Island Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa, PNC Arena, North Carolina, Pepsi Center, Colorado, March 18 and 20 Barclays Center, New York, Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Washington, Regional Semifinals and Finals March 24 and 26 South Regional, KFC Yum! Center, Kentucky, West Regional, Honda Center, California, March 25 and 27 East Regional, Wells Fargo Center, Pennsylvania, Midwest Regional, United Center, National Semifinals and Championship April 2 and 4 NRG Stadium, Texas NRG Stadium in Houston hosted the Final Four for the second time in 2016, Houston's third Final Four overall; the 2016 tournament was the first tournament since 1995 where no domed stadiums were used in the regional rounds. The tournament featured two new venues. For the second time in three years, the tournament came to New York City, with games played at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets.
The tournament came to the state of Iowa for the first time since 1972, the first time in the city of Des Moines, when it came to the Wells Fargo Arena, home to the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G League and the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League. Of the 14 venues used in the tournament, only the NRG Stadium and the Chesapeake Energy Arena do not have future tournament games planned as of 2018. America East Conference champion Stony Brook and WAC champion Cal State Bakersfield made their first NCAA Tournament appearances in school history. Yale made its first NCAA appearance since 1962 as winners of the Ivy League, for the final time, did not stage a conference tournament. Of those that do hold a tournament, Horizon League champion Green Bay made its first appearance since 1996 and Oregon State made its first appearance since 1990. Yale earned its first Tournament win in school history with a 79–75 win over Baylor. Hawaii earned its first NCAA Tournament win by defeating California 77–66. Arkansas-Little Rock won its first Tournament game in 30 years and Middle Tennessee won its first Tournament game in 27 years.
In the Midwest Region, No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee upset No. 2 seed Michigan State for just the eighth win for a No. 15 seed over a No. 2. More than one-third of ESPN Tournament Challenge brackets predicted Michigan State to make the Final Four. In the East Region, No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin upset No. 3 seed West Virginia, marking the fourth straight tournament in which a No. 14 seed upset a No. 3 seed. By winning the Midwest Regional final, Syracuse became the first No. 10 seed in history to advance to the Final Four. However, three lower seeds, all No. 11, have advanced to that stage. Kansas extended its streak of consecutive tournament appearances to 27 in a row, making every NCAA Tournament dating back to 1990; this tied the record for most consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances held by North Carolina. This Tournament marked the first championship for Villanova in 31 years, it was the first championship by a school without a Division I FBS football team since Connecticut in 1999. Villanova fields a Division I FCS football team, as did UConn before 2002.
Out of 336 eligible Division I teams, 68 participate in the tournament. Of the total, 15 Division I teams were ineligible due to failing to meet APR requirements, self-imposed postseason bans, or reclassification from a lower division. Of the 32 automatic bids, 31 were given to programs. For the final time, the Ivy League awarded its NCAA Tournament bid to the team with the best regular-season record and did not hold a tournament; the Ivy League will hold a postseason tournament for the first time after the 2016–17 Ivy League season. The rema
2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2007–08 basketball season. It began on March 18, 2008, concluded on April 7 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. For the first time since seeding began, all four of the top seeds advanced to the Final Four; these were Memphis, the winner of the South region, UCLA, the winner of the West region making their third consecutive Final Four appearance, the winner of the Midwest region, overall number one seed and East region winner North Carolina, back in the Final Four for the first time since their 2005 national championship. Memphis and Kansas advanced to the national championship game, with Memphis's victory in the semifinals giving them a record-setting 38 for the season, beating the mark set by Duke in 1999. Kansas, spoiled their national championship hopes by handing the Tigers their second loss of the season, winning the game in overtime, 75–68.
Memphis's entire season was vacated by the NCAA due to eligibility concerns surrounding freshman guard Derrick Rose. Entering the tournament on March 18, the top ranked team was North Carolina in both the AP Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Polls, followed by Memphis, UCLA and Kansas. American University, UMBC, Texas–Arlington, Portland State all entered the tournament for the first time in their school's history. Another school, Coppin State won the MEAC Tournament to become the first 20-loss school to make the field. Georgia, a team that otherwise would not have advanced to the tournament, won the SEC tournament to qualify, were awarded a #14 seed, the lowest-ever by a major conference team in the tournament. Whereas the 2007 tournament did not see many upsets, the 2008 tournament was full of them; the sub-regional pod played at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida featured four games where a double digit seed won. #5 seeds Drake and Clemson fell to #12 seeds Western Kentucky and Villanova while the #4 seeds in that same pod and Connecticut, were defeated by #13 seeds Siena and San Diego.
Western Kentucky advanced to the West regional in Phoenix, where they lost to UCLA while Villanova was one of two double digit seeds to advance to the Midwest regional. The other was #10 seed Davidson, who rode the hot shooting of Stephen Curry to defeat Gonzaga and Wisconsin before nearly upsetting Kansas in the regional final; the Midwest region alone saw four of its double digit seeds advance, as in addition to Villanova and Davidson #11 seed Kansas State knocked off #6 seed USC. The total tournament attendance of 763,607 set a record for highest total tournament attendance, breaking the record set during the 1999 tournament; the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship is an annual single-elimination tournament featuring 65 teams representing all Division I Conferences in the nation. A "play-in" game determined which of the two lowest seeds would play in the first round of 64 against a top seed team; the Selection Committee seeded the entire field from 1 to 65 within four regionals of 16 teams.
The first and second-round games were played at the following sites, which were not restricted to any one particular Tournament Region, because of the "pod system": March 20 and 22 Honda Center, California Pepsi Center, Colorado Qwest Center Omaha, Nebraska Verizon Center, Washington, D. C. March 21 and 23 BJCC Arena, Alabama Alltel Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas RBC Center, North Carolina St. Pete Times Forum, Florida The four regionals are named after their geographic areas, a practice that resumed in 2007. Between 2004 and 2006, the regionals were named for their host cities; the following arenas/stadia and cities were the sites for the 2008 regionals: March 27 and 29 East Regional, Charlotte Bobcats Arena, North Carolina West Regional, US Airways Center, Arizona March 28 and 30 Midwest Regional, Ford Field, Michigan South Regional, Reliant Stadium, Texas Each regional winner advanced to the Final Four. April 5 and 7 Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas For the third time, the Alamodome and the city of San Antonio hosted the Final Four, something it will do once more in 2018.
The tournament featured two new host cities. For the first time the tournament was played within the city of Detroit at Ford Field, the Detroit Lions' home stadium. Previous games in the Detroit area had been played at the Pontiac Silverdome and The Palace of Auburn Hills, both in the suburbs. For the first, to date only, the tournament was held in the state of Arkansas at the Alltel Arena, located in North Little Rock and the state's second largest indoor venue after Bud Walton Arena on the campus of the University of Arkansas. For the first time since 1977, the tournament returned to Nebraska's largest city, this time at the new Qwest Center Omaha, the off-campus home of the Creighton Bluejays; the tournament returned to Houst
South Alabama Jaguars men's basketball
The South Alabama Jaguars men's basketball program has competed in the Sun Belt Conference since 1978 when the league was formed. Since 1968, the Jaguars have compiled an overall record of 694–507. Ronnie Arrow returned as head coach in 2007. In his three seasons succeeding Pelphrey, Coach Arrow was 63–34, is 177–127 all time at South Alabama, he was replaced by Jeff Price on an interim basis. On March 25, 2013, Matthew Graves was named as the new head coach of the Jaguars. On March 8, 2018, Graves was fired after 5 seasons after a 65–96 record with no postseason appearances. 1 week the Jaguars hired former Nicholls State head coach Richie Riley for the job. The University of South Alabama is a public, doctoral-level university in Mobile, United States; the school was founded in 1963 and began its men's basketball program in the fall of 1968 under former Auburn standout and Alabama Sports Hall of Fame member Rex Frederick. The Jags have participated in the NCAA Tournament eight times with a record of 1–8.
Their last tournament appearance was in 2008 when they lost to seventh seeded Butler 81–61 in the NCAA Birmingham Regional First Round. The Jaguars have been invited to play in the NIT Tournament four times and have a record of 3–4 in the NIT; the Jaguars have appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight times. Their combined record is 1–8; the Jaguars have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament four times. Their combined record is 3–4; the Jaguars have appeared in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament one time. Their record is 0–1. Cliff Ellis was head coach at the University of South Alabama from 1975 to 1984, he was the all-time winning coach in South Alabama history with a 171–84 record during nine seasons until Coach Ronnie Arrow surpassed him in 2010. When Ellis became head coach, the administrators at South Alabama were thinking of dropping to Division II. Four years he had the Jaguars in the NCAA Tournament and six seasons they were ranked in the nation's top 10. Ellis was the athletic director during part of his tenure, led the Jaguars to three Sun Belt titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and two NITs.
Former NBA Minnesota Timberwolves coach, Bill Musselman returned to the NCAA after a 25-year absence and led the Jaguars to back-to-back NCAA tournament bids in his two years as coach. Musselman's 1997 South Alabama team went 23–7 and nearly upset eventual champion University of Arizona in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Bob Weltlich was named interim coach at South Alabama in 1997 following Musselman's sudden resignation. Weltlich compiled a record of 81 -- 65 and three 20-win seasons. John Pelphrey spent five seasons as head coach at South Alabama. In 2005–06 the Jaguars defeated Western Kentucky University in the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship game, earning USA's first NCAA tournament bid since 1998; the Jaguars lost to the tournament champions, Florida in the round of 64. In 2007, Pelphrey led the Jags to an NIT birth. South Alabama finished the year with a 20–12 record, giving Pelphrey an overall record of 80–67 with the Jags and an offer to coach for the University of Arkansas in the SEC.
In his first eight seasons as the Jaguars coach, Ronnie Arrow compiled a record of 114–93 and was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1991. His squads led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring four of his seven seasons at South Alabama, his 1988–89 squad set a school and league record 91 points per game average and five of his seven teams tallied at least 80 points per game. Since his return in 2007, Ronnie Arrow has compiled a 63–34 record and became the all-time winningest coach in South Alabama history with a 177–127 record, he garnered an at-large bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament, the first for Sun Belt Conference is many years. Arrow was replaced by Jeff Price on an interim basis. On March 25, 2013, Matthew Graves was named as the new head coach of the Jaguars. On March 8, 2018, Graves was fired after 5 seasons after a 65–96 record with no postseason appearances. 1 week the Jaguars hired former Nicholls State head coach Richie Riley for the job. The Mitchell Center 10,041-seat multi-purpose arena was built in 1998.
It is home to the University of women's basketball teams. The 2001 and 2008 Sun Belt Conference men's basketball tournaments were held at the Mitchell Center. Prior to moving into the Mitchell Center, the Jaguars had played their home games from 1968–1998 at the Jag Gym. In 1965 the South Alabama Board of Trustees selected the Jaguar as the University's official mascot and during the late 1960s, USA housed a live Jaguar on the campus. However, the University decided against housing a live animal on campus after Mischka, the jaguar, was accidentally set free on the campus after someone made the mistake of leaving her pen door unlocked. In the 1971 Retrospect a person is seen wearing a jaguar costume with a paper mache head covered with spotted fur. By 1972, the costume had changed to a look that showed the persons face and included a fur hat and body. In the late 1970s a mascot-naming contest was held and the name South Paw was chosen. In 1986 USA began its first structured mascot program, building the image of South Paw that exists today.
A new costume with an enlarged soft head with comical expression have now replaced the old paper mache head. Miss Pawla joined South Paw in 1992. Today, the duo of South Paw and Miss Pawla represent the Jaguars at USA athletic competitions and other events throughout the Mobile community. Official web
USA Today is an internationally distributed American daily, middle-market newspaper that serves as the flagship publication of its owner, the Gannett Company. The newspaper has a centrist audience. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, it operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters on Jones Branch Drive, in McLean, Virginia, it is printed at five additional sites internationally. Its dynamic design influenced the style of local and national newspapers worldwide, through its use of concise reports, colorized images, informational graphics, inclusion of popular culture stories, among other distinct features. With a weekly circulation of 1,021,638 and an approximate daily reach of seven million readers as of 2016, USA Today shares the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. USA Today is distributed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, an international edition is distributed in Asia, Canada and the Pacific Islands.
The genesis of USA Today was on February 29, 1980, when a company task force known as "Project NN" met with Gannett Company chairman Al Neuharth in Cocoa Beach, Florida to develop a national newspaper. Early regional prototypes included East Bay Today, an Oakland, California-based publication published in the late 1970s to serve as the morning edition of the Oakland Tribune, an afternoon newspaper which Gannett owned at the time. On June 11, 1981, Gannett printed the first prototypes of the proposed publication; the two proposed design layouts were mailed to newsmakers and prominent leaders in journalism, for review and feedback. The Gannett Company's board of directors approved the launch of the national newspaper, titled USA Today, on December 5, 1981. At launch, Neuharth was appointed president and publisher of the newspaper, adding those responsibilities to his existing position as Gannett's chief executive officer. Gannett announced the launch of the paper on April 20, 1982. USA Today began publishing on September 15, 1982 in the Baltimore and Washington, D.
C. metropolitan areas for an newsstand price of 25¢. After selling out the first issue, Gannett expanded the national distribution of the paper, reaching an estimated circulation of 362,879 copies by the end of 1982, double the amount of sales that Gannett projected; the design uniquely incorporated color graphics and photographs. Only its front news section pages were rendered in four-color, while the remaining pages were printed in a spot color format; the paper's overall style and elevated use of graphics – developed by Neuharth, in collaboration with staff graphics designers George Rorick, Sam Ward, Suzy Parker, John Sherlock and Web Bryant – was derided by critics, who referred to it as "McPaper" or "television you can wrap fish in," because it opted to incorporate concise nuggets of information more akin to the style of television news, rather than in-depth stories like traditional newspapers, which many in the newspaper industry considered to be a dumbing down of the news. Although USA Today had been profitable for just ten years as of 1997, it changed the appearance and feel of newspapers around the world.
On July 2, 1984, the newspaper switched from predominantly black-and-white to full color photography and graphics in all four sections. The next week on July 10, USA Today launched an international edition intended for U. S. readers abroad, followed four months on October 8 with the rollout of the first transmission via satellite of its international version to Singapore. On April 8, 1985, the paper published its first special bonus section, a 12-page section called "Baseball'85," which previewed the 1985 Major League Baseball season. By the fourth quarter of 1985, USA Today had become the second largest newspaper in the United States, reaching a daily circulation of 1.4 million copies. Total daily readership of the paper by 1987 had reached 5.5 million, the largest of any daily newspaper in the U. S. On May 6, 1986, USA Today began production of its international edition in Switzerland. USA Today operated at a loss for most of its first four years of operation, accumulating a total deficit of $233 million after taxes, according to figures released by Gannett in July 1987.
On January 29, 1988, USA Today published the largest edition in its history, a 78-page weekend edition featuring a section previewing Super Bowl XXII. On April 15, USA Today launched a third international printing site, based in Hong Kong; the international edition set circulation and advertising records during August 1988, with coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, selling more than 60,000 copies and 100 pages of advertising. By July 1991, Simmons Market Research Bureau estimated that USA Today had a total daily readership of nearly 6.6 million, an all-time high and the largest readership of any daily newspaper in the United States. On September 1 of that year, USA Today launched a fourth printsite for its international edition in London for the United Kingdom and the British Isles; the international edition's schedule was changed as of April 1, 1994 Monday through Friday, rather than from Tuesday through Saturday, in order to accommodate business travelers.