6:38 pm, March 18th, 2014
Every school has a famous alumni they brag about. I went to Fordham, so everything on the Rose Hill campus in the Bronx was named after Vince Lombardi. It was a shame, really, because the athletics center was a joke, and Lombardi was a sports god, but that didn’t stop the administration from plastering his name on every building with a treadmill inside it.
Whatever, better than being called the “Alan Alda Rec Center,” right?
This year’s crop of 68 teams has some pretty interesting match-ups, from a one-on-one alumni perspective (
you can see the full bracket, here). What we’ve tried to do, is pick each school’s most famous student, with two requirements:
1) They didn’t have to graduate, only enroll for a semester
2) No celebrities who were exclusively athletes in one of the four major sports (broadcasters are fine)
The winner will be determined based on a mixture of overall fame and societal significance. For example, if you split the atom, you’re going to beat the guy who played Carlton in “Fresh Prince.” Likewise, if you’ve won multiple oscars as a leading actor, you’ll be the person who created the vaccine for Hepatitis B.
Glad we got that out of the way.
Some of the pairings will provide some stark contrast to the predicted outcome on the court. For example, Witchita’s celeb alumni, “The Big Show,” does not stand a chance against N.C. State’s Zach Galifinakis. Regardless, they’re all pretty hilarious in this context (or any other context). Today, we’ve got the Southern region for you, mapped out match-up to match-up in the slideshow below. Let us know
who you think should win by tweeting at us here…
1.(1) Arizona vs (16) Weber St
WEST REGION: Ugh, a bobsledder vs a Kardashian. Under any other circumstances, we'd stop the scourge of America's evilest reality TV family, alas, we cannot in good faith say that Bill Schuffenhauer is more anything than Kourtney K. Well, respectable, maybe. WINNER: KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN
2.(8) Gonzaga vs (9) Oklahoma St
WEST REGION: Bing Crosby's voice haunts our holidays, while Gary Busey's face haunts our dreams. We'd love to give this to Busey, but come on, "White Christmas" is the shit. WINNER: BING CROSBY
3.(5) Oklahoma vs (12) North Dakota St
WEST REGION: Bob Backlund was a wrestler in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Olivia Munn is a nerd goddess. We're nerds who were born after Backlund's prime. Easy. WINNER: OLIVIA MUNN
4.(4) San Diego St vs (13) New Mexico St
WEST REGION: Although sound quality matters a great deal and we appreciate Paul Klipsch's contribution to speaker design, picture quality ends up being more important -- especially when Mrs. Welch is on screen playing a cavewoman in "One Million Years B.C." WINNER: RAQUEL WELCH
5.(6) Baylor vs (11) Nebraska
WEST REGION: In perhaps the most American match-up of the entire celebrity alumni tourney, a country star and a homegrown billionaire faceoff in a popularity contest at high noon on the dusty streets of SportsGrid City. Nelson is a cultural icon, Buffett changes the world every time he opens his mouth. When Willie opens his mouth, only smoke comes out. WINNER: WARREN BUFFETT
6.(3) Creighton vs (14) Louisiana St
WEST REGION: Leo Ryan was the U.S Representative who flew down to Jamestown to confront that cult leader Jim Jones, who ultimately killed him (and everyone else there). Yikes. Simmons, on the other hand, can't stop moving. WINNER: RICHARD SIMMONS
7.(7) Oregon vs (10) BYU
WEST REGION: Tinker Hatfield pretty much designed all the good Air Jordan's, while Mitt Romney still doesn't exactly know what that means. Whatever. WINNER: MITT ROMNEY
8.(2) Wisconsin vs (15) American
WEST REGION: Lindberg was the first person to fly around the world, which is almost as cool as dating Kurt Russell for 30-something years. Almost. Just kidding, it's way cooler. WINNER: CHARLES LINDBERG
9.(1) Virginia vs (16) Coastal Carolina
EAST REGION: What's the difference between Edgar Allen Poe and Dustin Johnson? Give up? EVERYTHING. Loser gets to sleep with Paulina Gretzky! WINNER: EDGAR ALLEN POE
10.(8) Memphis vs (9) George Washington
EAST REGION: "The King" has had a long career announcing WWE matches, after a long career being in them. Most notably, he beat up Andy Kaufman, who up until then only fought women. Jackie Kennedy, on the other hand, is the most famous American woman of all time, so we're pretty sure she'd have kicked Kaufman's ass, too. WINNER: JACKIE KENNEDY
11.(5) Cincinnati vs (12) Harvard
EAST REGION: In perhaps the worst seeding arrangement possible, George Clooney -- movie star numero uno -- was paired up with John F. Kennedy, who has an airport, several hundred streets, a few bridges, libraries, and a space center named after him. Clooney has a sex move -- it's called the "Sorry, I won't be calling you back tomorrow. Gotta run!" WINNER: JFK
12.(4) Michigan St vs (13) Delaware
EAST REGION: This is a toughy. James Caan was in "The Godfather," which is widely considered one of the top three films of all time, but Johnny Weir was a pioneer in Olympic sport, as well as the only reason to watch figure skating on NBC this year. Caan's role as the dad in "Elf" puts him over the top. WINNER: JAMES CAAN
13.(6) North Carolina vs (11) Providence
EAST REGION: Did you know Polk was the first President to have his photograph taken while in office? Did you know that, since 1998, no one has taken a picture of Janeane Garafolo? It's true. No brainer here... WINNER: JAMES K. POLK
14.(3) Iowa St vs (14) North Carolina Central
EAST REGION: George Washington Carver derived over 100 products made from peanuts throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. Andre Leon Talley was the editor at-large for Vogue, and in 2010, was voted one of the "50 Most Powerful Gay Men In America" by Out Magazine. Only invented one use for the magazine, however -- which is keeping you distracted while you poop. WINNER: GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER
15.(7) UCONN vs (10) St. Joe's
EAST REGION: Ah, the classic "rom-com star vs screachy hype man." We can't get enough of these. Here's our take: Meg Ryan has progressively gotten less relevant, while Lil John remains a crucial reference point (e.g. you're on a plane and someone won't stop coughing: "Hey, Lil John, okay!") Ryan was a bonafide A-list star in the 90's, but Lil John made crowds of adults sing the words "Till the sweat drops down my balls." That's power. WINNER: LIL JOHN
16.(2) Villanova vs (15) Milwaukee
EAST REGION: Bradley Cooper wins this only because Dafoe has only been nominated for one Oscar (Platoon) over a way longer period of time. Otherwise, it'd be too close to call, seeing as Cooper had a starring role in "Failure to Launch," which is worse than anything Dafoe's ever done. However, Cooper is a bigger star right now than Dafoe has ever been -- no matter what "Boondocks Saints" fans say. WINNER: BRADLEY COOPER
17.(1) Florida vs (16) Albany/ Mt. St Mary's
SOUTH REGION: While Tim Tebow is a household name (and technically qualifies because he works for ESPN), Harvey Milk had Sean Penn play him in an Oscar-winning performance. Bridget Kelly was responsible for Chris Christie's demise, so that's big, but it's hard to beat a politician who's been immortalized.
WINNER: HARVEY MILK
18.(5) VCU vs (12) SF Austin
SOUTH REGION: Anything but the Eagles, man. Plus GWAR is the shit.
19.(8) Colorado vs (9) Pitt
SOUTH REGION: Trey Parker's "Southpark" is one of the longest running, most successful shows, ever. Gene Kelly was in "Singing in the Rain." When push comes to shove, Parker has a had a more diverse series of critical successes. Sure, Kelly's got moves, but Trey's got "Book of Mormon." Game. Set. Match.
WINNER: TREY PARKER
20.(6) Ohio St vs (11) Dayton
SOUTH REGION: Jesse Owens made it into our tournament because his impact went far beyond the sporting realm. Dan Patrick made the list because no one else went to Dayton.
WINNER: JESSE OWENS
21.(3) Syracuse vs (14) Michigan St
SOUTH REGION: Joe Biden actually went to Delaware undergrad, and Cuse law ('68), so that needs to be considered when comparing him to his fellow celebrity alumni. However, the time for that is not now, not here, and not against Tim Allen. A tough draw for the "Home Improvement" star. Things might have been better had he pulled whatever school Wilson went to...
WINNER: JOE BIDEN
22.(7) New Mexico vs (10) Stanford
SOUTH REGION: Stanford is an interesting place, in terms of famous alumni. We almost went with Tiger Woods, but felt the President who caused the Great Depression was more "notable" than a guy who bangs porn stars and hits golf balls. Eddie Guerrero died in 2003, after winning the WWF/WWE belt 23 times. His catchphrase, "I Lie! I Cheat! I Steal!," was pretty bold, and in stark contrast to Hoover's, which was "I will not intervene in the plunging economy." Sure, let FDR get all the praise.
WINNER: HERBERT HOOVER
23.(2) Kansas vs (15) Eastern Kentucky
SOUTH REGION: Adjusted for inflation, "The Six Million Dollar Man" was the 1970's version of "The 210 Million Dollar Man." Who are we kidding? It was a dumb show about a guy who could run fast. Then the terminator came out and the use of Lee Major's character as a viable metaphor for superiority went out the window. Meanwhile, we'll forever compare ourselves to the shining example of human achievement that is Paul Rudd. The guy makes us laugh every time we see him.
WINNER: PAUL RUDD