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Fun Fact: The Mean Green were tops

Women's basketball 2012, left Hannah Christian and Ash'Lynne EvansThe Mean Green basketball teams are preparing for their last year in the Sun Belt Conference. What was the first conference UNT joined?

A. Southwest Conference

B. Lone Star Conference

C. Big XII Conference

D. Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association

The correct answer is D: the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The university joined the TIAA in December 1922. Other teams in the conference were Southern Methodist University, Baylor, Grubbs Vocational School, Trinity, Austin College, Sam Houston State, West Texas State and Southwest Texas State.

The men’s basketball team won the TIAA conference title in 1921-22. The women were considered Texas state champions in 1918-20 after three undefeated seasons.

However, within six years, two new conferences were formed by members who left the TIAA, and there were disagreements among college administrators about the role and importance of athletics at an institution of higher education. By 1931, North Texas State Teachers College had joined the Lone Star Conference, where it remained for 14 years.

The Mean Green will join Conference USA in 2013 and will play in-state rivals Houston, Rice, University of Texas-San Antonio and the University of Texas-El Paso.

The 2012-13 Mean Green basketball teams are led by two first-year coaches. Men’s head coach Tony Benford, formerly at Marquette University, and women’s head coach Mike Petersen, formerly at Wake Forest. Both teams were successful in 2011-12; the men finished second in the conference tournament, and the women were nationally recognized as a turn-around team.

The men will play in the Super Pit Dec. 8, 16 and 20, and the women will be at home Dec. 18. The 2013 Sun Belt Conference tournament will be March 8-11 in Hot Springs, Ark.

  • Find a schedule and fan guides to men's and women's basketball, buy tickets.
  • Enter to win a pair of tickets to any men's or women’s game by sending an email to InHouse with “Basketball Conference” in the subject line by 5 p.m. Dec. 7. Winners will be selected at random from all responses.
  • You’ll want to wear your green gear to games, so enter to win a UNT gift pack (T-shirt, eco-friendly bag, water bottle and lapel pin) by sending an email to InHouse with “Mean Green Hoops” in the subject line by 5 p.m. Dec. 7. As always, winners will be selected at random from all responses.

Don’t forget to wear green on Friday and take advantage of merchandise and food discounts at participating Denton and North Texas stores.

(Source: The Story of North Texas: From Texas Normal College, 1890 to the University of North Texas System, 2001 by James L. Rogers, published by UNT Press.)

Above, left Hannah Christian and Ash'Lynne Evans; below, Head Coach Tony Benford

Head Coach Tony Benford at Mean Green practice

Posted on: Mon 03 December 2012

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