No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State provided the first major shock of the 2016 NCAA tournament with its 90–81 victory over Michigan State on Friday.
Many may be unfamiliar with the small school in Tennessee that destroy thousands of brackets, but it is time to start taking notice of the Conference USA automatic bid winners.
Here are some fun facts about the university:
The university was started in 1911 as Middle Tennessee State Normal School with two-year program for training teachers. The school has 22,729 students enrolled with 20,262 undergraduate and 2,467 postgraduate.
Where is it? The campus takes up 466 acres in east of downtown Murfreesboro.
Best bar in Murfreesboro: The Boulevard Bar & Grill (four stars on 55 Yelp reviews)
University motto: Agriculture and Commerce
President: Sidney A. McPhee
Notable alumni: James McGill Buchanan, American economist known for his work on public choice theory; Al Gore Sr. (Al Gore Jr. served as a visiting professor and received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change activism); Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum; and composer George S. Clinton.
Fight song: Listen to the song below.
Mascot: "Lightning" is a winged horse based on Pegasus from Greek mythology.
Conference: Conference USA
Basketball success: The men's basketball program first made the NCAA tournament in 1975. Before Friday, one of their most notable tournament victories came in 1982, when they defeated No. 6-seeded Kentucky 50-44 in the Mideast Regional. MTSU defeated No. 4-seeded Florida State 97-83 in 1989.
The women's basketball program has won the Sun Belt Conference from 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Amber Holt and Alysha Clark have led the NCAA's leading scorer in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
Men's basketball head coach: Kermit Davis has a 24–9 record since taking over the program in 2002. He previously was a head coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College, Idaho, Texas A&M and Chipola Junior College.
Men's basketball roster: Darnell Harris; Perrin Buford; Joshua Phillips; Xavier Habersham; Jacob Ivory; Jaqawn Raymond; Edward Simpson; Chase Miller; Aldonis Foote; Giddy Potts; Jacorey Williams; Quavius Copeland; Karl Gamble; Reggie Upshaw; Stephen Strachan
Middle Tennessee State will play Syracuse on Sunday.