The Most Successful Nicknames in College Basketball Last Season

Colleges and universities love to wave the banners representing the pride they have for their school, cheer for their favorite sports team, and support the nickname they know and love. Many are unaware of the fact they share the same nickname as multiple schools across the world. While the teams do not all play at the same game level and excel at the same rate, here are some of the most popular and successful nicknames in college basketball.

1. In the number one spot for most popular nicknames is no other than “Wildcat”. The first team to adopt this as their nickname dates all the way back to 1915 when the University of Arizona received a pair of wildcats on campus. Not long after did Villanova University also choose the Wildcats as their name in 1926.

Here is a list of schools that have the nickname Wildcat: Abilene Christian, Arizona, Bethune-Cookman, Davidson, Kansas State, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Northwester, and Villanova.

With an overall record of 30-7, the University of Kentucky was the most successful Wildcat team for the 2018-19 season. Not far behind them was 26-10, Villanova University and landing just behind them was Kansas State with a 25-9 record to end the year.

2. Ranking number two for colleges and universities is “Bulldog”. Dating back to 1905, Mississippi State University was the first school to adopt the nickname for not only their costumed mascot, but their live one as well. The live mascot which is still used today is Bully, an American Kennel Club registered American Bulldog. After being granted university status in 1961, the State teams accepted the Bulldogs as their official nickname.

List of schools that have the nickname Bulldog: Alabama A&M, Bryant, Butler, The Citadel, Drake, Fresno State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, UNC-Asheville, Samford, South Carolina State, and Yale.

Finishing out the season with an outstanding record of 33-4 is none other than Gonzaga University. With a 10-game gap from Gonzaga was Mississippi State University with a record of 23-11, and The Citadel finishing out their season with a low record of 12-18.

3. Finishing out the list at number three in the nickname selection is “Tigers”.  Funny enough, that makes 2 out of the top 3 nicknames, kinds of cats!  It has long been a popular nickname for college teams, and this past year, a lot of Tiger teams did well!

List of schools that have the nickname Tiger: Auburn, Clemson, Idaho State, LSU, Memphis, Missouri, Pacific, Princeton, Tennessee State, Texas Southern, and Towson.

Auburn and LSU did the best of these teams, with Auburn making it all the way to their first ever Final Four, and LSU finishing at 28-7.  Clemson and Memphis also had very good years.

Honorable Mentions: Huskies, Eagles, and Rams.

Featured image courtesy of USA Today.