Louisiana State University (LSU) is a member of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the Southeastern Conference. Its official team nickname is the Fightin' Tigers (not plainly "Tigers") and Lady Tigers (the term "Bayou Bengals" for the men and "Ben-Gals" for the women are also heard at times), and the school mascot is Mike the Tiger. The school colors are purple and gold. LSU's nickname is a throwback to its Confederate heritage and was drawn from the Civil War fame of two Louisiana brigades who fought so fiercely that they became known as the "Louisiana Tigers." In keeping with the French/Cajun character of South Louisiana, LSU support can be seen by its distinctive spelling of "Go Tigers" as "Geaux Tigers".
They play their home basketball games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center located on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In the days before the NCAA Tournament the Tigers won the 1935 mythical national championship under head coach Harry Rabenhorst. While this championship is not officially recognized by the NCAA since it did not sanction a tournament, LSU officially claims this championship and displays a banner in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Rabenhorst also led the Tigers to the 1953 Final Four with a team that included future NBA Hall of Famer Bob Pettit.
LSU teams appeared in the NCAA Final Four in 1953, 1981, 1986, and 2006. They won the SEC conference_tournament in 1980 and were SEC regular season champions in 1935, 1953, 1954, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1991, 2000 and 2006.
The LSU Lady Tigers basketball team represents Louisiana State University in NCAA Division I women's college basketball. The team is currently coached by interim coach Bob Starkey and has enjoyed recent success, including three straight Final Four trips in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Past coaches include Barbara Swanner, Jinks Coleman, Hall-of-Famer Sue Gunter, and Pokey Chatman.