NCAA Tournament March Madness
031617_Northwestern_AP Nick Wass/AP

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, center, and husband Brad Hall react during the second half of a game between Wisconsin and Northwestern. Louis-Dreyfus' son is Northwestern forward Charlie Hall.

March 16, 2017

Re-seeding the NCAA Tournament by each school's most famous alum

The 2017 NCAA men's basketball tournament kicks off on Thursday afternoon, and if you're like the majority of fans around the country, many of the games don't interest you beyond what it means for your own bracket (and the potential for a buzzer-beater or huge upset.

Our own Rich Hofmann broke down the NCAA tournament schedule based on which games provide the best scouting opportunities for Sixers fans. But, again, that might not be your thing either. 

So for the rest of you, I took the liberty of finding the most famous graduate (or at least attendee) from all 64 teams that remain.

First, a few disclaimers:

  1. I tried to stay away from athletes or sports figures as much as I could. Many times, those of us who work in this industry think those guys are much more popular than they actually are. For some schools, however, that was unavoidable, either because the athlete was far and away the most famous alum (see: Michael Jordan, UNC) or because there wasn't really anyone else left to pick (see: Chris Sale, FGCU).
  2. I tried to keep it to people who actually graduated from each school, but as was the case with my first point, that wasn't always possible (or the best choice).
  3. I didn't put descriptions for every person. Some just didn't need them.
  4. This is based entirely on my own opinion. Some of these were really hard to narrow down, so when it got close, I just picked the person that I either thought was the most famous or the funniest. You'll probably disagree with who I picked from your school. Don't @ me.

Enjoy.

EAST

For each region, we'll first list the schools in the order they appear on the bracket, then re-rank them at the bottom.

1. VILLANOVA – Bradley Cooper (attended)
16. Mount Saint Mary’s – Fred Carter (Former Sixers player)

8. Wisconsin – Dick Cheney
9. Virginia Tech – Hoda Kotb (Today Show)

OTHERS: WISC – Boz Scaggs, Both William Harley and William Davidson, Frank Lloyd Wright
 

5. Virginia – Tina Fey
12. UNC Wilmington – Skeet Ulrich (attended)

OTHERS: UVA – Benjamin McKenzie (Ryan from The O.C.), Georgia O’Keeffe (attended)
 

4. Florida – Faye Dunaway (attended)
13. E. Tenn. St. – Kenny Chesney

OTHERS: UF – Bob Vila, Erin Andrews, Tim Tebow
 

6. SMU – Kathy Bates
11. USC – Will Ferrell

OTHERS: SMU – Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Aaron Spelling | USC: Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, O.J. Simpson, George Lucas
 

3. Baylor – Willie Nelson
14. New Mexico St. – Christine Aguilera (President of SkyMall, not the singer)

7. South Carolina – Hootie and the Blowfish (all of them)
10. Marquette – Chris Farley

OTHERS: MARQ – Bob Odenkirk (attended)
 

2. Duke – Richard Nixon
15. Troy – Windham Rotunda (a.k.a. Bray Wyatt of WWE)
 

HOW THEY SHOULD BE RANKED:

  1. Marquette – Chris Farley
  2. Duke – Richard Nixon
  3. USC – Will Ferrell
  4. Villanova – Bradley Cooper
  5. UVA – Tina Fey
  6. Baylor – Willie Nelson
  7. Wisconsin – Dick Cheney
  8. E. Tennessee – Kenny Chesney
  9. Florida – Faye Dunaway
  10. SMU – Kathy Bates
  11. South Carolina – Hootie
  12. Va. Tech – Hoda Kotb
  13. Troy – Bray Wyatt
  14. UNC-W – Skeet Ulrich
  15. Mount St. Mary's – Fred Carter
  16. New Mexico St. – Christine Aguilera

WEST

1. Gonzaga – Bing Crosby (attended)
16. S. Dakota State – Tom Daschle

OTHERS: SDST – Pete Retzlaff (Eagles), Adam Vinatieri
 

8. Northwestern – Julia Louis-Dreyfus (attended)
9. Vanderbilt – Al Gore

OTHERS: NW – Warren Beatty, Stephen Colbert, Seth Myers, David Schwimmer, Jerry Springer, Pharrell (attended)
 

5. Notre Dame – Regis Philbin
12. Princeton – James Madison

OTHERS: ND – Condoleezza Rice | PRI – Grover Cleveland, Michelle Obama, Woodrow Wilson
 

4. West Virginia – Don Knotts
13. Bucknell – Leslie Moonves (CBS)

OTHERS: WVU – Billy Mays, Jerry West | BUCK – Jay Wright
 

6. Maryland – Larry David
11. Xavier – John Boehner

OTHERS: MD – Jim Henson (Muppets), Ed Snider, Carl Bernstein (Watergate) | Xavier – Jim Bunning (MLB)
 

3. Florida State – Burt Reynolds
14. FGCU – Chris Sale

7. Saint Mary’s – Mahershala Ali (actor, "Moonlight"/"House of Cards")
10. VCU – Hunter “Patch” Adams (yes, that Patch Adams)

2. Arizona – Kourtney Kardashian
15. North Dakota – Phil Jackson

OTHERS: ARIZ – Kristen Wiig, Craig T. Nelson, Jerry Bruckheimer, Greg Kinnear, John Hughes, Bob Dole | ND – Sam Anderson (Bernard from "Lost")
 

HOW THEY SHOULD BE RANKED:

  1. Princeton – James Madison
  2. Vanderbilt – Al Gore
  3. Northwestern – Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  4. Maryland – Larry David
  5. Florida St. – Burt Reynolds
  6. Arizona – Kourtney Kardashian
  7. Gonzaga – Bing Crosby
  8. Notre Dame – Regis Philbin
  9. West Virginia – Don Knotts
  10. North Dakota – Phil Jackson
  11. St. Mary's – Mahershala Ali
  12. Bucknell – Les Moonves
  13. Xavier – John Boehner
  14. VCU – Patch Adams
  15. FGCU – Chris Sale
  16. S. Dakota St. – Tom Daschle

MIDWEST

1. Kansas – Paul Rudd
16. UC Davis – Matthew Moy (actor)

OTHERS: KU – Juan Manuel Santos (President of Colombia), Don Johnson, Mandy Patinkin
 

8. Miami – The Rock
9. Michigan State – James Caan

OTHERS: THE U – Ray Liotta, Sylvester Stallone, Gloria Estefan, Matt Mullin, Enrique Iglesias | MSU – Magic Johnson
 

5. Iowa State – George Washington Carver
12. Nevada – Washoe (first chimp to learn sign language)

4. Purdue – Neil Armstrong
13. Vermont – Rupert von Trapp (real-life Friedrich from "The Sound of Music")

OTHERS: UVM – Ben Affleck (attended), John LeClair, Rollie Massimino
 

6. Creighton – Bob Gibson
11. Rhode Island – J.T. Walsh (Col. Markinson, "A Few Good Men")

3. Oregon – Phil Knight
14. Iona – Don McLean

OTHERS: ORE – Kaitlin Olson ("Always Sunny"), Ann Curry, Ty Burrell ("Modern Family")
 

7. Michigan – Gerald Ford
10. OK State – Garth Brooks

OTHERS: MICH – James Earle Jones, Tom Brady
 

2. Louisville – Diane Sawyer
15. Jacksonville St. – Danny Willett (Masters Champ)
 

HOW THEY SHOULD BE RANKED: 

  1. Purdue – Neil Armstrong
  2. Michigan – Gerald Ford
  3. Miami – The Rock
  4. Kansas – Paul Rudd
  5. Louisville – Diane Sawyer
  6. Iowa State – George Washington Carver
  7. Michigan St. – James Caan
  8. OK State – Garth Brooks
  9. Oregon – Phil Knight
  10. Vermont – Rupert von Trapp
  11. Iona – Don McLean
  12. Creighton – Bob Gibson
  13. Rhode Island – J.T. Walsh
  14. UC Davis – Matthew Moy
  15. Jacksonville St. – Danny Willett
  16. Nevada – Washoe

SOUTH

1. UNC – Michael Jordan
16. Texas Southern – Michael Strahan

8. Seton Hall – Dule Hill (actor)
9. Arkansas – Jerry Jones

OTHERS: SH – Dick Vitale
 

5. Butler – Jim Jones (cult leader)
12. Winthrop – Andie MacDowell

4. Minnesota – Bob Dylan
13. M. Tennessee St. – Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum)

6. Cincinnati – William Howard Taft
11. Kansas State – Eric Stonestreet ("Modern Family")

OTHERS: KSU – Kirstie Alley
 

3. UCLA – Ben Stiller
14. Kent State – Drew Carey

OTHERS: UCLA – Tim Robbins, James Franco, George Takei, John Williams (composer), Francis Ford Coppola, Carol Burnett | KENT – Steve Harvey, Michael Keaton, Arsenio Hall, Dolph Ziggler (WWE)
 

7. Dayton – John Gruden
10. Wichita State – Shirley Knight

OTHERS: WSU – The Big Show
 

15. N. Kentucky – George Clooney
2. Kentucky – Ashley Judd
 

HOW THEY SHOULD BE RANKED:

  1. UNC – Michael Jordan
  2. Minnesota – Bob Dylan
  3. Cincinnati – William Howard Taft
  4. N. Kentucky – George Clooney
  5. Kentucky – Ashley Judd
  6. UCLA – Ben Stiller
  7. Kent State – Drew Carey
  8. Winthrop – Andie MacDowell 
  9. Kansas State – Eric Stonestreet
  10. Texas Southern – Michael Strahan
  11. Dayton – John Gruden
  12. Wichita St. – Shirley Knight
  13. Seton Hall – Dule Hill
  14. M. Tennessee St. – Hillary Scott
  15. Butler – Jim Jones
  16. Arkansas – Jerry Jones

So who do you guys have making this Final Four? 


Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin