Zach Braziller and Harrison Goodman break down some of the lesser-known bests to look out for in the NCAA Tournament:
The distinctive mane of UCLA’s Tyger Campbell is hard to miss. Campbell hasn’t had a haircut since the fifth grade, with a pretty simple explanation why. “He literally hated them,” his mother, Jennifer, said in 2018.
Best pay cut
Longwood coach Griff Aldrich left a lucrative career as a lawyer and a reported salary of nearly $800,000 in 2016 to take an assistant coaching job for then-UMBC coach Ryan Odom that paid $32,000. He took the Longwood head-coaching job — and $150,000 salary — a couple years later, and now is coaching in the school’s first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament.
Best blast from the past
The San Francisco Dons, best known for the Bill Russell-led championships in the 1950s, are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 under 36-year-old head coach Todd Golden.
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Best assistant coach
When you’ve won an NBA and NCAA title, it’s safe to say you’re overqualified to be a college assistant coach. But former Knicks coach Larry Brown is working for fourth-year head coach Penny Hardaway on the Memphis bench.
Best reminder we are getting old
Remember Jameer Nelson, who led St. Joseph’s to a No. 1 seed in the 2004 tournament before a long NBA career? Well his son, Jameer Nelson Jr., is now in the tournament, having led CAA champion Delaware in scoring this season.
Best Shaq impression
LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal holds the record for most blocks in an NCAA Tournament game, rejecting 11 shots vs. BYU in 1992. Auburn’s Walker Kessler could do it in the right matchup, as the 7-foot-1 sophomore already has 12 blocks in a game this year vs. Texas A&M, and 11 against Shaq’s alma mater, LSU.