NCAA Tournament

Meet the final four schools

There’s more to the last four schools standing than basketball. A closer look at each institution:

Updated: 2012-03-30T14:08:19Z


•  Location: Lawrence, Kan.

•  Founded: 1866

•  Enrollment: 29,462

•  Total undergrad student cost (2011-12): $30,894

•  Living alumni: 325,841

•  Famous alums: Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Vice President Bob Dole; billionaire businessman Philip Anschutz; actor Don Johnson

•  A little tradition: Beloved by alumni and fans, reviled by the competition, the ethereal Rock Chalk Chant was created in 1886 by chemistry professor E.H.S. Bailey. At first, it was “Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU.” The “rahs” were later changed to “Rock Chalk,” paying homage to the chalk-rock limestone on Mount Oread, site of the campus. Teddy Roosevelt once proclaimed this the best college chant in the land.

•  Quotable: “I believe that good things come to those who work.” — The late basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, who played at KU from 1956 to 1958

Ohio State

•  Location: Columbus, Ohio

•  Founded: 1870

•  Enrollment: 64,435

•  Total undergrad student cost (2011-12): $25,269

•  Living alumni: 465,000

•  Famous alums: Hall of fame basketball coach/broadcaster Bob Knight; country crooner Dwight Yoakam; the late St. Louis Cardinals announcer Jack Buck

•  A little tradition: The Ohio State Buckeye leaf design was first sketched in 1950 by comic artist Milton Caniff. It was intended to represent the buckeye tree as a symbol of strength. The football team in 1967 began awarding decals of the design as helmet stickers to players after exceptional plays, and the tradition continues today.

•  Quotable: “There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.” — The late Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes


•  Location: Lexington, Ky.

•  Founded: 1865

•  Enrollment: 28,037

•  Total undergrad student cost (2011-12): $22,300

•  Living alumni: 260,062

•  Famous alums: Miami Heat president Pat Riley; actor Harry Dean Stanton; Mizzou chancellor Brady Deaton

•  A little tradition: How about UK’s Adolph Rupp connection to KU? Born in 1901 in Halstead, Kan., Rupp attended KU and was a reserve on Phog Allen’s 1919-23 teams, which boasted none other than James Naismith as an assistant. Rupp went on to coach high school ball in Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois … and eventually, for 42 years, at Kentucky, where he became known as “Baron of the Bluegrass.”

•  Quotable: “Tough girls come from New York. Sweet girls, they’re from Georgia. But us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks, and drink with the boys, all the while making sweet tea, darlin’. And if we have an opinion, you know you’re gonna hear it.” — Actress and renowned Wildcats basketball fan Ashley Judd


•  Location: Louisville, Ky.

•  Founded: 1798

•  Enrollment: 22,249

•  Total undergrad student cost (2011-12): $18,036

•  Living alumni: 125,000

•  Famous alums: U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell; basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld; Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil

•  A little tradition: How about a moment of reflection on Pro Football Hall of Famer Unitas? Johnny U remains the Cardinals’ greatest pigskin product, having played a nice little career there during 1951-54. What followed was an 18-year run, primarily with the Baltimore Colts, that included two NFL titles, a Super Bowl championship, three MVPs and a still-unbroken record of TD passes in 47 straight games.

•  Quotable: “I’ve got to beat the (Louisville) Cardinals or I can’t survive here. That’s for sure.” — former Kentucky men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith, on the white-hot Louisville-UK rivalry

| Jeff Rosen,

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