Southern University and A&M College is one of the most well-known historically black colleges and universities. Southern is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the United States. The concept of Southern University was put forth by P. B. S. Pinchback, T. T. Allain, and Henry Demas as an institution "for the education of persons of color" at the 1879 Louisiana State Constitutional Convention. In April 1880, the Louisiana General Assembly chartered Southern University, originally located in New Orleans. Southern opened its doors on 1881-03-07 with twelve students. One of the original locations of the early campus was the former Israel Sinai Temple Synagogue on Calliope Street, between St. Charles and Camp streets in New Orleans. Southern became a land grant school in 1890, and an Agricultural and Mechanical department was established. Due to continued growth and a lack of land for expansion, the university relocated to what was then Scotlandville, along Scott's Bluff facing the Mississippi River in 1914.
Southern's sports teams participate in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) which is a part of the NCAA Division I system. (Football teams in the SWAC are in Division I-AA.) Southern University's colors are columbia blue and gold and their mascot is the Jaguar.
In 2006, Southern's Mens basketball team played Duke University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Jaguars played a closely contested game until Duke finally pulled away midway through the second half, eventually winning 70-54. This was Coach Rob Spivery's first season with the school and he was named SWAC coach of the year after winning both the regular season title and conference tournament. In 1993, unheralded Southern University added lore to the NCAA Tournament by defeating fourth-seeded Georgia Tech, one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history. Avery Johnson, former NBA star who won a title with the San Antonio Spurs, graduated from Southern in 1988. Johnson is currently head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and was named NBA Coach Of The Year in 2006.
The 2005-2006 Women's basketball team also claimed a share of the SWAC regular season title and won the SWAC women's basketball tournament. This was Coach Sandy Pugh's third appearance in the NCAA tournament with the university.