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Syca-More about Upcoming Opponent Indiana State

We're breaking down everything fans need to know about the Wildcats' Week 2 opponent.

The Northwestern Wildcats aim to rebound from a disappointing Week 1 loss to Michigan State this Saturday when they welcome the Indiana State Sycamores to Ryan Field. Ahead of the game, we're taking a look at some interesting facts about Indiana State, as well as what to expect from a Sycamores team that is 1-0 this season. 

Indiana State University Sycamores

Where is Indiana State University located?

Terre Haute, Indiana

When was it founded? 

Indiana State University (ISU) was established in 1865, when the Indiana General Assembly raised $50,000 to found the institution, then known as the Indiana State Normal School. 

How big is the university?

Currently, there are 10,216 undergraduate students at ISU.

What on earth is a Sycamore, and what does it have to do with ISU?

I thought you'd never ask! During its early years, Indiana State was known as the "Fighting Teachers"—very intimidating indeed. Then, in 1921, the school held a contest to rename its athletic teams and the student body voted on the Sycamores. A sycamore, otherwise known as platanus occidentalis, is a plane tree found in the eastern and central United States, northeast Mexico, southern Ontario and extremely southern Quebec. The trees can grow up to 100 feet tall.

Who is ISU's mascot? 

Not a tree! Indiana State's mascot is Sycamore Sam, a speciesless, genderless mascot. Sycamore Sam, looks like this:

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Shorthanded Wildcats Shock No. 10 Michigan State

The Wildcats put up an incredible effort, without Pete Nance, to escape East Lansing with a win.

Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 9.20.21 PM

Northwestern Avoids Collapse and Defeats Rutgers in Big Ten Matchup

A double-digit lead evaporates in the fourth quarter, but a Veronica Burton-led Wildcats find a way to win at Welsh-Ryan Arena.


Maryland Outlast Northwestern in Big Ten Matchup

Pete Nance records double-double but Eric Ayala and the Terrapins find a way to hand the Wildcats a fourth straight loss.

However, this furry friend was not always the Sycamore mascot. In 1969, a committee established Chief Quabachi as the ISU mascot, but this was discontinued after twenty years due to its racist caricature of Native Americans.

Does ISU have any famous alumni?

The most famous alumnus from ISU is NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird. However, some other famous alumni include Willa Brown, the first African American aerospace engineer, holiday musician Burl Ives, and WWF pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.


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