Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Four of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey, whereas soccer was developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
Robert Montgomery "Bob" Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a retired American basketball coach. Nicknamed "The General," Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men's college basketball games, most all-time at the time of his retirement and currently third all-time behind his former player, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. He is most well known as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971–2000. He also coached at Texas Tech (2001–2008) and at Army (1965–1971).
While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships, one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. He received the National Coach of the Year honor four times and the Big Ten Coach of the Year honor eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men's Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title, and an Olympic gold medal.
The Summit League (or The Summit) is an NCAA Division I college athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. On June 1, 2007, the conference changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference.
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles are the 16 intercollegiate teams representing the Oral Roberts University that compete in the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. Oral Roberts competes in the Southland Conference in all sports except men's soccer, which competes in The Summit League.
Ford Field was the site of the season ending Final Four and Championship game for 2008-09.
The 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 10, 2008 and ended with the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament's championship game on April 6, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The season saw six different teams achieve the AP #1 ranking during the year (just one shy of the NCAA record). Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin was the dominant individual performer, sweeping National Player of the Year honors. The season began with North Carolina becoming the first unanimous preseason #1 team, and ended with the Tar Heels dominating the NCAA tournament en route to their fifth NCAA title. UNC won its six NCAA tournament games by double-digits, and by an average of 19.8 points per game. Junior Wayne Ellington was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Patricia Sue "Pat" Summitt (born on June 14, 1952) is a former women's college basketball head coach. She now serves as the head coach emeritus of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men's or women's team in any division. She coached from 1974 to 2012, all with the Lady Vols, winning eight NCAA national championships, second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least 1,000 victories.
Summitt was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season. On April 20, 2012, the White House announced that Pat Summitt would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Summitt received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.