FanPost

Know your foe: Detroit

Syracuse's quest to conquer the Great Lakes State begins tonight against a small Catholic school in, well, Detroit.

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History: Jesuits in Detroit founded Detroit College in 1877.  By 1927 they founded a second campus and renamed themselves the University of Detroit.  In 1990 the school merged with the Mercy College of Detroit and became the University of Detroit-Mercy.  The school says this was to expend academic opportunities, but I think it's just to remind people the school is a Jesuit school.

Location: Detroit, Michigan.  You may know it as Motown, the Motor City, or Hockey Town (believe it or not, the Red Wings actually trademarked that).  You may also know it as urban decay on steroids, or the 11th largest city in the country.  The name Detroit comes from the French word for strait, referring to the Strait of Lake Erie.  The city was settled by Frenchmen in 1701 as Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit and established a fur trade.  After the Seven Years' War Britain occupied it in 1760, and ceded it to the Northwest Territory following the Revolutionary War.  In 1763, the Great Chief Pontiac fought the Europeans and eventually the Brits (while Detroit was under their control) limited white settlement west of Appallachia.  Detroit served as the capital of Michigan from 1805 to 1847 and the city expanded.  The city was a hub on the Underground Railroad, and after the Civil War the architecture in Detroit gave it the nickname "Paris of the West."  In 1896 Henry Ford built his first car in a rented workshop and established the Ford Motor Company in 1903.  Many automotive manufacturers moved to the Detroit area.  After WWII, white flight affected the city as did consolidation of the automotive industry, and the city became infamous.....until Syracuse great Dave Bing became its mayor.

Academics: Detroit has about 5.5k students, and is ranked 30th on US News' list of Regional Midwest Universities and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.   The school has three campuses; most people use the McNicholls Campus, and there's a law school and a dentistry school.

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Notable Alumni: No names you'd know, but there are a lot of firsts who attended Detroit, namely first African American to do something, including the first female African American primetime news anchor and the first African-American mayor of Birmingham.  The CEO of Mazda also went to Detroit, as did the author of Get Shorty (pictured).  And despite being a Catholic school, an Israeli politician went there.

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Pageantry: The University of Detroit calls itself the Titans; it's one of two D-I schools to use that name, the other being Cal State Fullerton.  There are six other schools using that name, namely Illinois Wesleyan (Bloomington), Indiana University - South Bend, St. Petersburg (FL), Ohio State-Newark, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and Westminster (PA).  The current logo was adopted in 2008, and the lower logo was used before that.  The school colors are red, white, and blue.

Detroit's fight song is called "The Titan Way" and goes like this:

Fight for the Titan Way!
Detroit is here to stay!
Red, White and Blue,
We know what to do,
Vic'try is ours today! U-D-M!

Come hold your heads up high!
Heed to the Titan cry!
Roll on to win,
Never give in,
Our spirit will never die! U-D-M!

Come hold your heads up high!
Heed to the Titan cry!
Roll on to win,
Never give in,
Our spirit will never die!

U-D-M, U-D-M, Go-o-o-o-o Titans!
U-D-M, U-D-M --Go Titans!

(no, it's not on Youtube).

Athletics: Detroit competed in the Horizon League in all sports since 1980, except lacrosse.  Back then it was called the Midwestern City Conference though.  The lacrosse team competes in the ECAC Lacrosse League.

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I'll let my Knicks bias show this time.  Dave "Big D" DeBusschere went to Detroit from 1959 to 1962, who averaged a double double (almost a 20-20) over his tenure, and the city of Detroit declared his death a city holiday.  Despite his success, he only went to one NCAA tournament in 1962.  The school has five total appearances (the others are in 1977, 1979, 1998, and 1999), winning games in 1977, 1998, and 1999, and being in the Sweet Sixteen in 1977.  During this year, they beat eventual national champion Marquette.  The season did have a catch though: the coach that year would become college basketball's biggest embarassment.  Ever.  I don't think I need to tell you who it was (hint: I'd probably put up a picture of him with me scribbling all over it).  Oh, and the team began playing in 1906.  The current coach is Ray McCallum and the stadium is Calihan Hall.

Detroit had a football team until 1964 and they even claimed the 1928 national title.  However....

...Detroit just got a lax team few years back.  They actually had a surprisingly overachieving first season.  Granted, it wasn't a good season, but better than most schools' standards.

Rival: Detroit considers Butler to be its biggest rival for obvious reasons.  The schools began playing in 1935-36, and Butler leads the all time series.  They had a few memorable contests in the Horizon League tournament.

Outlook: The game already started!  Let's hope we stop slacking off for the third first half in a row!

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