Name: Louisiana State University
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Enrollment: 31,527 (26,159 undergrad, 5,368 grad)
The Hell?: According to their Wikipedia page, LSU is a "Land-grant, Sea-grant, and Space-grant" university. I knew what a land-grant university was, i.e. a school that gets federal funding via the government giving the state land to sell to fund the school. That makes sense, right? But it's not like there's a lot of sea or space that the federal government can give to Louisiana to SELL to raise money. It turns out it's just stealing the name from the land-grant program, as sea-grant schools are getting research funding from NOAA, and space-grant schools are getting research funding from NASA. Still weird to read, though.
Why "Tigers?" There was a Confederate army company based out of New Orleans that was nicknamed "Tiger Rifles." They were such an intimidating force that all troops from Louisiana eventually were nicknamed Tigers by other troops in the Confederate army. Once LSU started sponsoring athletics, it was an obvious nickname choice.
Live Mascots Are The Coolest: LSU has a live Bengal tiger mascot named Mike The Tiger. The current Mike is actually the seventh Mike, as they've had a live mascot since 1936. The current Mike has been serving since this past August, as the previous Mike passed away in October of 2016. He lives in a $3 million facility conveniently constructed between their football stadium and their basketball arena. Mike has his own website - MikeTheTiger.com - which includes a live TigerCam.
Notable Alumni: Basketball icons Pete Maravich, Shaquille O'Neal, and Bob Pettit; Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon; James Carville, political wizard and Tony Kornheiser Show football pundit; former US Vice President Hubert Humphrey; Joanne Woodward, who won an Academy Award for her role in The Three Faces of Eve; Maxime Faget, NASA engineer & designer of the Mercury space capsule & the Apollo Command Module; Dr. James Andrews, yes, that Dr. James Andrews; all of the members of the band Better Than Ezra; Bill Conti, who won an Oscar for Best Original Score for The Right Stuff and most famously composed the fanfare from Rocky; comic book artist J.G. Jones; actor Eddie Jemison, best known as the tech guy in Ocean's Eleven; Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of True Detective; John Tenta, professional wrestler best known as Earthquake; Will Wright, creator of The Sims; Rebecca Wells, author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; Ruth Fertel, founder of Ruth's Chris Steak House; David Duke, yes, that David Duke; General John A. Lejeune, USMC, and namesake of Camp Lejeune; and more NFL players than you can shake a stick at, including Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle.
Interesting Traditions at LSU: I honestly tried to find something interesting, but most of what I can find are ultimately tied to the LSU football team. I don't care about football traditions.
Last Season: 10-21, including going just 2-16 in SEC play. Unsurprisingly, head coach Johnny Jones was relieved of his duties after the season.
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #172
This Season: 3-1, with yesterday’s loss to Notre Dame giving them their first setback of the year.
Current KenPom Ranking: #94
Current Stats Leaders:
Points: Tremont Waters, 15.3 ppg
Rebounds: Duop Reath, 4.8 rpg
Assists: Tremont Waters, 5.5 apg
Hey, isn’t that.... Yep, that is former Georgetown commit Tremont Waters starring for the Tigers. In a certain kind of way, beating LSU tonight will also send a message to Georgetown fans everywhere that Waters was not going to be of any help to them against Marquette.
Head Coach: Will Wade, in his first season at LSU. He was previously the coach at VCU, so shoutout to Wade for managing to land a new job that still sent him to Hawaii this week. This is just his fifth season as a head coach after going 40-25 in two seasons at Chattanooga and 51-20 in two seasons at VCU.
All Time Series: Marquette leads the all-time series 3-1, including ending Pete Maravich's collegiate career with a loss in the semifinals of the 1970 NIT.