Michigan March Madness: Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center
March 8, 2008
From Wikipedia’s Eastern Michigan University entry I learned that the school was founded in Ypsilanti in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School, the first normal school created outside the original 13 colonies. It became the Michigan State Normal College in 1899, Eastern Michigan College in 1956 and ultimately Eastern Michigan University in 1959. In 1991, the school become one of the first to abandon a Native American mascot (the Hurons) for the current name of Eagles. In 1991, when EMU qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, announcer Brent Musburger referred to the team on-air as the “No-Names” and there is apparently still a campaign to restore the Huron. EMU is in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and:
Eastern’s men’s basketball team has appeared in four NCAA Division I tournaments, and have a 3-4 record, tied for third best among Michigan colleges. In the 1996 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Eastern Michigan defeated the Duke Blue Devils in the opening round; it would be the Blue Devils’ last first- or second-round defeat until 2007, when they were upended by VCU in the opening round.
EMU plays their games at Convocation Center, a nearly 205,000 sq ft structure that was completed in 1998. Here’s a photo of the arena dressed up for convocation. They don’t list what programs use the facility, but here’s a link to their women’s basketball (2008 MAC champions) and men’s basketball programs. Basketball Reference lists a number of notable EMU grads in the NBA including Earl Boynkins.