All 68 NCAA Tournament Schools Ranked By Coolest Person Who Went There
Rating famous alums from Big Show to Bob Saget
The field is set for this year’s NCAA Tournament, but rather than break down the brackets like everyone else, Extra Mustard is ranking the 68 schools in this year’s field by coolest alumnus (or alumna).
68. Florida Gulf Coast: Don Carman
After 10 years in the majors, the lefty hurler went back to school in Fort Myers, Fla., and earned a degree in sports psychology.
67. Middle Tennessee State: Hillary Scott
The frontwoman of Lady Antebellum graduated from the Murfreesboro, Tenn., school in 2006.
66. New Mexico State: Joe Pisarcik
The quarterback responsible for The Miracle at the Meadowlands played college ball in Las Cruces, N.M.
65. Memphis: Jerry Lawler
The celebrated professional wrestling commentator went to Memphis State on a commercial art scholarship.
64. Northwestern State: Bobby Hebert
The Cajun Cannon was drafted from the Natchitoches, La., school into the USFL before a lengthy NFL career that included a Pro Bowl appearance with the Saints.
63. Boise State: Chris Childs
The Idaho school’s most famous alumnus is the guy who punched Kobe.
62. Valparaiso: John Lutz
The writer and comedian best known for playing J.D. Lutz on 30 Rock was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at the Indiana university.
61. Liberty: Sid Bream
Before he scored the run that dramatically lifted the Braves into the 1992 World Series, Bream attended the Lynchburg, Va., school founded by Jerry Falwell.
60. Iona: Jeff Ruland
The one-time NBA All-Star played under Jim Valvano at Iona before leading the Gaels to three 20-win seasons as a coach.
59. Saint Louis: Robert Guillaume
58. Belmont: DJ Qualls
It’s hard out here for a pimp.
57. VCU: Founding members of GWAR
Three members of the blood-spraying heavy metal band, including lead vocalist Dave Brockie, met at the Richmond, Va., research university.
56. Saint Mary’s: Von Hayes
Mr. Five-for-one himself played at the Moraga, Calif., school before a major league career that included an All-Star appearance in 1989.
55. New Mexico: Penny Marshall
Before starring on Laverne and Shirley and directing A League of Their Own, Marshall briefly attended the Albuquerque school.
54. Villanova: Jim Croce
The “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” crooner attended the Catholic school during the early ’60s.
53. San Diego State: Raquel Welch
The One Million Years B.C. bombshell left San Diego State College, as it was then known, due to her heavy schedule while working as a weather anchor for a local TV station.
52. South Dakota State: Adam Vinatieri
The kicker who booted the game-winning field goals in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII won a pair of Division II scoring titles at the Brookings, S.D., school.
51. Kansas State: Kirstie Alley
The Cheers star attended the Manhattan, Kans., school many moons ago.
50. LIU-Brooklyn: Nicholas Pileggi
The Wiseguys author, Goodfellas screenwriter and New York City native (left) attended the Brooklyn university.
49. Duke: Ken Jeong
48. North Carolina A&T: Jesse Jackson
The civil rights activist and Democratic presidential nominee transferred to finish his undergrad studies at the HBCU after originally attending Illinois University on a football scholarship.
47. Pacific: Jamie Lee Curtis
The Halloween star attended the Stockton, Calif., school for one semester before quitting to pursue acting.
46. Davidson: Woodrow Wilson
The 28th President attended the Presbyterian school as a freshman before falling ill and taking year off before finishing at Princeton.
45. Oklahoma: Olivia Munn
The Newsroom star graduated from the Norman, Okla., school in 2004 with a degree in journalism.
44. Colorado: Christopher Meloni
What’s you glitch, Gene?
43. James Madison: Steve James
The Hoop Dreams filmmaker graduated from the Harrisonburg, Va., school in 1977.
42. Minnesota: Ron Perlman
The prolific character actor — in everything from Cronos to Sons of Anarchy to Drive — was a Golden Gopher during the ’70s and graduated with an M.F.A. in 1973.
41. North Carolina: Louise Fletcher
Piss on your f—ing rules, Nurse Ratched!
40. Florida: Stephen Root
Anyone seen a stapler?
39. Iowa State: George Washington Carver
The man Time magazine called the “Black Leonardo” attended the Ames university for both undergrad and graduate studies.
38. Akron: George Wallace
Don’t go to Vegas without seeing this Akron grad’s live show at the Flamingo.
37. Wichita State: Big Show
Then known as Paul Wight, the future WWE World Heavyweight Champion averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds as a Shocker.
36. Notre Dame: George Wendt
Norm! He was expelled from the South Bend school after getting a 0.00 GPA the first semester of his junior year but finished with a B.A. in economics from Rockhurst College in Kansas City.
35. Bucknell: Philip Roth
The decorated author of American Pastoral and The Human Stain earned an English degree from the Lewisburg, Pa., school.
34. Gonzaga: Bing Crosby
The crooner enrolled at Gonzaga College in 1920 with the intent to become a lawyer — but sent away for a set of mail-order drums while in Spokane. The rest is history.
33. Temple: Bob Saget
Temple Owls are everywhere: the Full House star graduated from the North Philly school in 1978.
32. UNLV: Suge Knight
The co-founder of Death Row Records played defensive end at the Las Vegas school after transferring from El Camino College.
31. Pittsburgh: Gene Kelly
The Singin’ in the Rain, An American in Paris and Xanadu star was a member of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity on his way to earning a B.A. in economics from Pitt in 1933.
30. Arizona: Kristen Wiig
The longtime Saturday Night Live cast member was an art major at the Tucson school before dropping out to pursue acting.
29. N.C. State: Zach Galifinakis
The member of the fictional Wolfpack was a member of the real-life Wolfpack from 1988 through 1992, but claims he failed his last course by one point and never got his degree.
28. La Salle: Peter Boyle
Boyle earned a B.A. from the Philadelphia school in 1957, later earning acclaim for his roles in Joe, Taxi Driver, Where The Buffalo Roam and many other films.
27. Louisville: Johnny Unitas
Unitas didn’t just play quarterback for the Cardinals — he also played safety, linebacker and returned punts.
26. Southern: David Banner
The rapper, record producer and part-time actor attended Southern — his mother’s alma mater — served as the president of the Student Government Association and received a B.A. in business.
25. Georgetown: Bradley Cooper
The Silver Linings Playbook star graduated from Georgetown with honors — after transferring from Villanova — with a B.A. in English in 1997.
24. Michigan State: James Caan
Sonny Corleone attended the East Lansing, Mich., school before transferring back home to Hofstra.
23. Creighton: Bob Gibson
The legendary Cardinals pitcher attended the Omaha school on a full basketball scholarship.
22. Indiana: Lee Majors
The Six Million Dollar Man himself went to Indiana on a football scholarship before a back injury prompted his turn to acting.
21. Cincinnati: Sandy Koufax
Koufax was a walk-on on the Cincinnati freshman basketball team, later earning a partial scholarship, before making the varsity baseball team.
20. Miami (Fla.): Sylvester Stallone
Stallone left Miami to pursue acting but was granted a B.F.A. from the school in 1999 when he requested that his acting and life experiences be accepted in exchange for his remaining credits.
19. Montana: Carroll O’Connor
The future Archie Bunker was an editor at the school paper and member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity while in Missoula.
18. Butler: Kurt Vonnegut
The Slaughterhouse-Five author (and one-time Sports Illustrated staffer) attended the Indianapolis school but left amid mediocre grades in 1942.
17. Western Kentucky: John Carpenter
The cult director of Halloween and Escape From New York was a Hilltopper before transferring to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1968.
16. Albany: Steve Guttenberg
The Police Academy star went to SUNY Albany to become a dentist before heading to Hollywood to try his luck as an actor.
15. Oklahoma State: Gary Busey
The Point Break star left the Stillwater, Okla., school just one credit short of graduation.
14. California: Gregory Peck
Atticus Finch rowed on the crew team and graduated from Berkeley in 1942.
13. Michigan: Madonna
Her Madgesty went to Ann Arbor on a dance scholarship before dropping out and relocating to New York City.
12. Kansas: Wilt Chamberlain
The Big Dipper was the tallest Jayhawk during the late ’50s.
11. Ole Miss: William Faulkner
The Nobel Prize-winning author of The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying skipped classes often at Ole Miss, getting lousy grades and dropping out after three semesters.
10. Marquette: Chris Farley
The longtime SNL cast member attended Marquette in Tommy Boy but also graduated from the Milwaukee school in real life in 1986.
9. Colorado State: John Amos
The Good Times and Coming To America star graduated from the Fort Collins, Colo., school with a degree in sociology and also played on the football team.
8. Ohio State: Roy Lichtenstein
The famous pop artist graduated from the Columbus university after studies that were interrupted by World War II.
7. Harvard: Norman Mailer
The novelist, journalist, essayist and Muhammad Ali confidant enrolled in Harvard at 16 years old, graduating in 1943 before joining the U.S. Army.
6. Illinois: Hugh Hefner
The Playboy founder needed just two-and-a-half years to graduate from the Champaign school with a B.A. in psychology and a double minor in creative writing and art.
5. UCLA: James Dean
The Rebel Without A Cause heartthrob dropped out of UCLA after one semester of acting study to pursue a full-time career as an actor.
4. Wisconsin: Butch Vig
The producer of Nirvana’s Nevermind, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish and Sonic Youth’s Dirty studied at Madison and was a mainstay in the local music scene.
3. Syracuse: Lou Reed
The Velvet Underground frontman graduated with a B.A. from Syracuse in 1964.
2. Oregon: Ken Kesey
The influential author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — “too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie” — graduated from the Eugene, Ore., school with a degree in speech and communication in 1957.
1. Missouri: Brad Pitt
The film star, who enrolled at Mizzou as a journalism major with a focus on advertising, left the Columbia, Mo., school two weeks before earning his degree to move to L.A. and pursue acting.