NCAA bracket: School colors, mascots, fight songs and notable alumni

It's a great time to become familiar with your new favorite team's colors and to get acquainted with mascots such as Saint Louis' Billiken. Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is seeded with plenty of the usual suspects, but every year there are new mascots, school colors and fight songs to learn too. Whether you are filling out a bracket and need to find inspiration in the team's traditions or want to know who might be rooting along with you in America, we've researched each school in the tournament to give you all the information at hand, organized by region and seeds, as you'd find them on your Tournament Challenge entry.

Information was scoured from public sources, and some (including student enrollment numbers) might be slightly out of date. But we figure that's OK. We put as much effort into vetting this as you're putting into filling out your bracket. We also apologize in advance if we left off your favorite actor/athlete/politician/relative from the list of notable alumni. It was (probably) unintentional, and there's nothing to read into it. Frankly, for some schools, we had to stretch the definition of notable. But we had fun with this, and we hope you do, too. Go Billikens! Whatever the heck those are.


(1) Duke Blue Devils
Durham, North Carolina

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 15,892
Mascot: Blue Devil | Fight Song: Fight Blue Devils
Official Color(s): Duke blue, white
Notable Alumni: Adam Silver, Ken Jeong, Richard Nixon, Melinda Gates, Ron Paul, Judy Woodruff, Jay Bilas

(16) North Dakota State Bison
Fargo, North Dakota

Conference: Summit League | Enrollment: 14,358
Mascot: Thundar | Fight Song: On Bison
Official Color(s): Green and yellow
Notable Alumni: Bob Backlund, Ilhan Omar, Phil Hansen, Amy Olson

(16) North Carolina Central Eagles
Durham, North Carolina

Conference: MEAC | Enrollment: 9,224
Mascot: Eagle | Fight Song: NCCU Fight Song
Official Color(s): Maroon and gray
Notable Alumni: Sam Jones, Maynard Jackson

(8) VCU Rams
Richmond, Virginia

Conference: Atlantic 10 | Enrollment: 22,389
Mascot: Rodney the Ram | Fight Song: Ram Fight Song
Official Color(s): Black and gold
Notable Alumni: Patch Adams, David Baldacci

(9) UCF Knights
Orlando, Florida

Conference: American Athletic | Enrollment: 68,571
Mascot: Knightro | Fight Song: Charge On
Official Color(s): Black and gold
Notable Alumni: Brandon Marshall, Daunte Culpepper, Daniel Tosh

(5) Mississippi State Bulldogs
Starkville, Mississippi

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 18,312
Mascot: Bully | Fight Song: Hail State
Official Color(s): Maroon and white
Notable Alumni: Dak Prescott, Eric Moulds, Buck Showalter

(12) Liberty Flames
Lynchburg, Virginia

Conference: Atlantic Sun | Enrollment: 75,756
Mascot: Sparky | Fight Song: Fan the Flames!
Official Color(s): Blue, white and red
Notable Alumni: Sam Ponder, Sid Bream, Seth Curry

(4) Virginia Tech Hokies
Blacksburg, Virginia

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 32,304
Mascot: HokieBird | Fight Song: Tech Triumph
Official Color(s): Chicago maroon and burnt orange
Notable Alumni: Hoda Kotb, Michael Vick, Bruce Smith

(13) Saint Louis Billikens
St. Louis, Missouri

Conference: Atlantic 10 | Enrollment: 12,649
Mascot: The Billiken | Fight Song: We Hail Saint Louis U.
Official Color(s): SLU blue and white
Notable Alumni: August Busch IV, Brian McBride, James Gunn, Robert Guillaume

(6) Maryland Terrapins
College Park, Maryland

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 41,200
Mascot: Testudo | Fight Song: Fight, Fight, Fight for Maryland
Official Color(s): Red, white, black and gold
Notable Alumni: Larry David, Jim Henson, Boomer Esiason

(11) Belmont Bruins
Nashville, Tennessee

Conference: Ohio Valley | Enrollment: 8,080
Mascot: Bruiser the Bruin | Fight Song: Go Belmont Bruins
Official Color(s): Navy, white and red
Notable Alumni: Brad Paisley, Trisha Yearwood, Minnie Pearl, Stu Grimson

(11) Temple Owls

Conference: American Athletic | Enrollment: 29,550
Mascot: Hooter T. Owl | Fight Song: T for Temple U
Official Color(s): Cherry and white
Notable Alumni: Bob Saget, Kevin Negandhi, Kevin Hart, Kunal Nayyar, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Tom Sizemore, Jesse Williams

(3) LSU Tigers
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 45,202
Mascot: Mike the Tiger | Fight Song: Fight for LSU
Official Color(s): Purple and gold
Notable Alumni: Shaquille O'Neal, Ben Simmons, Odell Beckham Jr., Lexie Priessman, Bill Conti, Hubert H. Humphrey

(14) Yale Bulldogs
New Haven, Connecticut

Conference: Ivy League | Enrollment: 12,312
Mascot: Handsome Dan | Fight Song: Bulldog
Official Color(s): Yale blue and white
Notable Alumni: George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, John C. Calhoun, William Howard Taft, Nathan Hale, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Clarence Thomas, John Kerry, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown, John Bolton, Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Jodie Foster, Edward Norton, Lupita Nyong'o, Claire Danes, Oliver Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Angela Bassett, Vincent Price, Henry Winkler, Paul Giamatti, James Franco, Lewis Black, Bob Woodward, Anderson Cooper, Adam Richman, Eli Whitney, Sinclair Lewis, Theo Epstein, Mike Richter and too many more to list.

(7) Louisville Cardinals
Louisville, Kentucky

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 22,640
Mascot: Cardinal Bird | Fight Song: Fight! U of L
Official Color(s): Red and black
Notable Alumni: Johnny Unitas, Diane Sawyer, Mitch McConnell, Wes Unseld, Tom Jackson

(10) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 51,848
Mascot: Goldy Gopher | Fight Song: Minnesota Rouser
Official Color(s): Maroon and gold
Notable Alumni: Bob Dylan, Hubert H. Humphrey, Warren Burger, Robert M. Pirsig, Tony Dungy, Kevin McHale, Brock Lesnar, Ric Flair, Yanni, Kevin Sorbo, Loni Anderson, Ernie Hudson

(2) Michigan State Spartans
East Lansing, Michigan

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 50,019
Mascot: Sparty | Fight Song: Victory for MSU
Official Color(s): Green and white
Notable Alumni: Magic Johnson, Le'Veon Bell, Bubba Smith, Robert Urich, Dan Gilbert, Gretchen Whitmer

(15) Bradley Braves
Peoria, Illinois

Conference: Missouri Valley | Enrollment: 5,400
Mascot: Kaboom the Gargoyle | Fight Song: Charge On!
Official Color(s): Red and white
Notable Alumni: Kirby Puckett, Neil Flynn, Chick Hearn


(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs
Spokane, Washington

Conference: West Coast Conference | Enrollment: 4,964
Mascot: Spike the Bulldog | Fight Song: Go Gonzaga
Official Color(s): Blue and white
Notable Alumni: John Stockton, Bing Crosby

(16) Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
Teaneck, New Jersey

Conference: Northeast | Enrollment: 11,000
Mascot: Nitro | Fight Song: Fairleigh Dickinson Fight Song
Official Color(s): Burgundy and blue
Notable Alumni: John Legere, Seth Greenberg, Zygi Wilf

(16) Prairie View A&M Panthers
Prairie View, Texas

Conference: SWAC | Enrollment: 9,500
Mascot: Panther | Fight Song: Mighty Panthers
Official Color(s): Purple and gold
Notable Alumni: Mr. T, Loni Love, Kirko Bangz

(8) Syracuse Orange
Syracuse, New York

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 22,484
Mascot: Otto the Orange | Fight Song: Down the Field
Official Color(s): Orange
Notable Alumni: Joe Biden, Bob Costas, Ted Koppel, Jim Brown, Al Davis, Aaron Sorkin, Vanessa Williams, Dick Clark, Lou Reed, Megyn Kelly, Mike Tirico, Matthew Berry

(9) Baylor Bears
Waco, Texas

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 16,787
Mascot: Bruiser & Marygold | Fight Song: Old Fite
Official Color(s): Green and gold
Notable Alumni: Willie Nelson, Jeff Dunham, Robert Griffin III

(5) Marquette Golden Eagles

Conference: Big East | Enrollment: 8,143
Mascot: Golden Eagle | Fight Song: Ring Out Ahoya
Official Color(s): Blue and gold
Notable Alumni: Rick Majerus, Chris Farley, Tom Snyder, Rachel Lindsay

Murray State Racers
Murray, Kentucky

Conference: Ohio Valley | Enrollment: 10,495
Mascots: Racer One, Dunker | Fight Song: The Old Grey Mare
Official Color(s): Navy and gold
Notable Alumni: Jude Deveraux, W. Earl Brown, Jim Varney

(4) Florida State Seminoles
Tallahassee, Florida

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 41,900
Mascot: Osceola and Renegade | Fight Song: Florida State
Official Color(s): Garnet and gold
Notable Alumni: Burt Reynolds, Jim Morrison, Bert Kreischer, Richard Simmons, Faye Dunaway, Hunter S. Thompson, Christine Lahti

(13) Vermont Catamounts
Burlington, Vermont

Conference: America East | Enrollment: 11,898
Mascot: Rally | Fight Song: Vermont Victory
Official Color(s): Green and gold
Notable Alumni: Ben Affleck, John Dewey

(6) Buffalo Bulls
Buffalo, New York

Conference: Mid-American | Enrollment: 31,503
Mascot: Victor E. Bull | Fight Song: Victory March
Official Color(s): Royal blue and white
Notable Alumni: Wolf Blitzer, Khalil Mack, Jeremy Jacobs, Ron Silver, John Walsh, Ronnie James Dio, Robert Hass

(11) St. John's Red Storm
New York

Conference: Big East | Enrollment: 16,440
Mascot: Johnny Thunderbird | Fight Song: Fight For Old St. John's
Official Color(s): Red and white
Notable Alumni: Mario Cuomo, Chris Mullin, Mike Francesa, J. Cole, Victoria Gotti

(11) Arizona State Sun Devils
Tempe, Arizona

Conference: Pac-12 | Enrollment: 103,530
Mascot: Sparky | Fight Song: Maroon & Gold
Official Color(s): Maroon and gold
Notable Alumni: Jimmy Kimmel, Al Michaels, Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Terrell Suggs, Phil Mickelson, James Harden, David Spade, Steve Allen, Nick Nolte, Linda Ronstadt

(3) Texas Tech Red Raiders
Lubbock, Texas

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 38,246
Mascot: Masked Rider, Raider Red | Fight Song: Fight, Raiders, Fight
Official Color(s): Scarlet and black
Notable Alumni: John Denver, Wes Welker, George Eads, Rick Husband

(14) Northern Kentucky Norse
Highland Heights, Kentucky

Conference: Horizon League | Enrollment: 14,566
Mascot: Victor E. Viking | Fight Song: NKU Fight Song
Official Color(s): Black, white and gold
Notable Alumni: George Clooney

(7) Nevada Wolf Pack
Reno, Nevada

Conference: Mountain West | Enrollment: 21,657
Mascots: Alphie, Wolfie Jr., Luna | Fight Song: Hail to our Sturdy Team
Official Color(s): Navy blue and silver
Notable Alumni: Colin Kaepernick, Gina Carano

(10) Florida Gators
Gainesville, Florida

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 35,247
Mascot: Albert and Alberta Gator | Fight Song: Orange and Blue
Official Color(s): Orange and blue
Notable Alumni: Tim Tebow, Emmitt Smith, Cris Collinsworth

(2) Michigan Wolverines
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 46,002
Mascot: None | Fight Song: The Victors
Official Color(s): Maize and blue
Notable Alumni: Gerald Ford, Arthur Miller, Iggy Pop, Madonna, James Earl Jones, Lucy Liu, Sanjay Gupta, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Michael Phelps, Branch Rickey, Adam Schefter

(15) Montana Grizzlies
Missoula, Montana

Conference: Big Sky | Enrollment: 10,962
Mascot: Monte | Fight Song: Up With Montana
Official Color(s): Maroon and silver
Notable Alumni: J.K. Simmons, Carroll O'Connor, Jeannette Rankin


(1) Virginia Cavaliers
Charlottesville, Virginia

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 24,360
Mascot: Cavalier | Fight Song: The Cavalier Song
Official Color(s): Orange and blue
Notable Alumni: Woodrow Wilson, Edgar Allen Poe, William Faulkner, Georgia O'Keeffe, Richard Byrd, Tina Fey, Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Robert Mueller, Janet Napolitano, Will Shortz, Katie Couric, David Baldacci

(16) Gardner-Webb Bulldogs
Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Conference: Big South | Enrollment: 5,000
Mascot: Mac the Bulldog | Fight Song: Gardner-Webb University Fight Song
Official Color(s): Scarlet, white and black
Notable Alumni: Artis Gilmore, Sara McMann

(8) Ole Miss Rebels
University, Mississippi

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 18,737
Mascot: Tony the Landshark | Fight Song: Forward Rebels
Official Color(s): Cardinal red and navy blue
Notable Alumni: Eli and Archie Manning, Michael Oher, John Grisham, William Faulkner

(9) Oklahoma Sooners
Norman, Oklahoma

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 31,702
Mascot: Boomer and Sooner | Fight Song: Boomer Sooner
Official Color(s): Crimson and cream
Notable Alumni: Blake Griffin, Adrian Peterson, James Garner, Olivia Munn, Ed Harris

(5) Wisconsin Badgers
Madison, Wisconsin

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 44,413
Mascot: Bucky Badger | Fight Song: On, Wisconsin!
Official Color(s): Cardinal and white
Notable Alumni: Charles Lindbergh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eudora Welty, Dick Cheney, Jim Lovell, Joan Cusack, Jane Kaczmarek, Don Ameche

(12) Oregon Ducks
Eugene, Oregon

Conference: Pac-12 | Enrollment: 22,760
Mascot: The Oregon Duck | Fight Song: Mighty Oregon
Official Color(s): Green and yellow
Notable Alumni: Phil Knight, Steve Prefontaine, Ann Bancroft, Chael Sonnen, Kaitlin Olson, Howard Hesseman, Lindsay Wagner

(4) Kansas State Wildcats
Manhattan, Kansas

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 22,221
Mascot: Willie the Wildcat | Fight Song: Wildcat Victory
Official Color(s): Royal purple
Notable Alumni: Kirstie Alley, Erin Brockovich, Eric Stonestreet

(13) UC Irvine Anteaters
Irvine, California

Conference: Big West | Enrollment: 35,220
Mascot: Peter the Anteater | Fight Song: Anteaters, Go!
Official Color(s): Blue and gold
Notable Alumni: Scott Brooks, Jon Lovitz, Greg Louganis, McG

(6) Villanova Wildcats
Villanova, Pennsylvania

Conference: Big East | Enrollment: 6,500
Mascot: Will D. Cat | Fight Song: V for Villanova
Official Color(s): Navy, blue and white
Notable Alumni: Bradley Cooper, Howie Long, Jim Croce, Don McLean, Toby Keith

(11) Saint Mary's Gaels
Moraga, California

Conference: West Coast | Enrollment: 2,916
Mascot: Gael Force One | Fight Song: On To Victory
Official Color(s): Navy, red and silver
Notable Alumni: Tony Martin, Mahershala Ali

(3) Purdue Boilermakers
West Lafayette, Indiana

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 43,411
Mascot: Boilermaker Special | Fight Song: Hail Purdue!
Official Color(s): Old gold and black
Notable Alumni: Neil Armstrong, Gus Grissom, Orville Redenbacher, Jim Gaffigan, John Wooden, Drew Brees

(15) Old Dominion Monarchs
Norfolk, Virginia

Conference: USA | Enrollment: 25,000
Mascot: Big Blue | Fight Song: Fight, Old Dominion!
Official Color(s): Slate blue, silver and light blue
Notable Alumni: Nancy Lieberman, Justin Verlander, Jay Harris, Ben Bailey

(7) Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati, Ohio

Conference: American Athletic | Enrollment: 26,608
Mascot: UC Bearcat | Fight Song: 26,608
Official Color(s): Red and black
Notable Alumni: Oscar Robertson, Sandy Koufax, George Clooney, Faith Prince

(10) Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa City, Iowa

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 32,948
Mascot: Herky the Hawk | Fight Song: Iowa Fight Song
Official Color(s): Black and gold
Notable Alumni: Tennessee Williams, John Irving, Jane Smiley, Gene Wilder, Tom Brokaw, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Arnold, Diablo Cody, Matt Bowen

(2) Tennessee Volunteers
Knoxville, Tennessee

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 22,317
Mascot: Smokey | Fight Song: Down the Field
Official Color(s): Tennessee orange and smokey
Notable Alumni: Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Candace Parker, Jason Witten, Chris Moneymaker, Lou Albano

(15) Colgate Raiders
Hamilton, New York

Conference: Patriot League | Enrollment: 2,939
Mascot: Raider | Fight Song: Fight, Fight, Fight
Official Color(s): Maroon and white
Notable Alumni: Jay Chandrasekhar, Bob Woodruff, Mike Milbury, Ben Cohen, Andy Rooney


(1) North Carolina Tar Heels
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Conference: Atlantic Coast | Enrollment: 29,847
Mascot: Rameses | Fight Song: I'm a Tar Heel Born
Official Color(s): Carolina blue and white
Notable Alumni: James Polk, Michael Jordan, Andy Griffith, Mia Hamm, Jack Palance, Stuart Scott

(16) Iona Gaels
New Rochelle, New York

Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic | Enrollment: 3,792
Mascot: Killian | Fight Song: Hail to Iona
Official Color(s): Maroon and gold
Notable Alumni: Don McLean, Bud Cort, Mandy Rose

(8) Utah State Aggies
Logan, Utah

Conference: Mountain West | Enrollment: 27,932
Mascot: Big Blue | Fight Song: Hail the Utah Aggies
Official Color(s): Navy blue, white and pewter gray
Notable Alumni: Merlin Olsen

(9) Washington Huskies
Seattle, Washington

Conference: Pac-12 | Enrollment: 46,686
Mascot: Harry the Husky | Fight Song: Bow Down to Washington
Official Color(s): Purple and gold
Notable Alumni: Bruce Lee, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Patrick Duffy, Ken Jennings, Kenny G, Barry White, Hope Solo

(5) Auburn Tigers
Auburn, Alabama

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 23,964
Mascot: Aubie the Tiger | Fight Song: War Eagle
Official Color(s): Burnt orange and navy blue
Notable Alumni: Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, Octavia Spencer

(12) New Mexico State Aggies
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Conference: WAC | Enrollment: 24,580
Mascot: Pistol Pete | Fight Song: Aggie Fight Song
Official Color(s): Crimson and white
Notable Alumni: Fredd Young, Alvy Ray Smith

(4) Kansas Jayhawks
Lawrence, Kansas

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 28,510
Mascot: Big Jay and Baby Jay | Fight Song: I'm a Jayhawk
Official Color(s): Crimson and blue
Notable Alumni: Wilt Chamberlain, Dean Smith, Paul Rudd, Don Johnson, Rob Riggle, Scott Bakula, Nikki Glaser

(14) Northeastern Huskies
Boston, Massachusetts

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association | Enrollment: 25,466
Mascot: Paws | Fight Song: All Hail Northeastern
Official Color(s): Red and black
Notable Alumni: LL Cool J, Jane Curtin, Patrice O'Neal, Shawn Fanning

(6) Iowa State Cyclones
Ames, Iowa

Conference: Big 12 | Enrollment: 34,992
Mascot: Cy the Cardinal | Fight Song: ISU Fights
Official Color(s): Cardinal and gold
Notable Alumni: George Washington Carver, Lee Teng-hui

(11) Ohio State Buckeyes
Columbus, Ohio

Conference: Big Ten | Enrollment: 61,170
Mascot: Brutus | Fight Song: Across the Field
Official Color(s): Scarlet and gray
Notable Alumni: Jesse Owens, Jack Nicklaus, Paul Brown, Bobby Knight, Mary Oliver, Sherrod Brown, R.L. Stine, Richard Lewis, George Steinbrenner, Alexa Bliss

(3) Houston Cougars
Houston, Texas

Conference: American Athletic | Enrollment: 37,215
Mascot: Shasta | Fight Song: Cougar Fight Song
Official Color(s): Scarlet and albino
Notable Alumni: Hakeem Olajuwon, Jim Parsons, Lil Wayne

(15) Georgia State Panthers
Atlanta, Georgia

Conference: Sun Belt | Enrollment: 52,814
Mascot: Pounce | Fight Song: Fight Panthers
Official Color(s): Blue and white
Notable Alumni: Ludacris, Julia Roberts, Lita

(7) Wofford Terriers
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Conference: Southern | Enrollment: 1,822
Mascot: Boss the Terrier | Fight Song: Hail Wofford
Official Color(s): Black and old gold
Notable Alumni: Ben Ingram, Fisher DeBerry, Wendi Nix

(10) Seton Hall Pirates
South Orange, New Jersey

Conference: Big East | Enrollment: 5,818
Mascot: The Pirate | Fight Song: Onward Setonia
Official Color(s): Blue and white
Notable Alumni: Dick Vitale, Bob Ley, Max Weinberg, Artie Lange

(2) Kentucky Wildcats
Lexington, Kentucky

Conference: Southeastern | Enrollment: 22,425
Mascot: The Wildcat | Fight Song: On, On, U of K
Official Color(s): Wildcat blue
Notable Alumni: Pat Riley, Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd, Mitch McConnell, Miss Elizabeth

(15) Abilene Christian Wildcats
Abilene, Texas

Conference: Southland | Enrollment: 5,200
Mascot: Willie the Wildcat | Fight Song: ACU Fight Song
Official Color(s): Purple and white
Notable Alumni: Charcandrick West, Randall "Tex" Cobb