And now, the thrilling conclusion to our March Madness bracket. (Which began here with the Sweet 16.)
(1) John Wooden’s Glasses vs. (3) Roy Williams’s Carolina Blue: It’s come down to this. Pete Carril, our Ivy League Cinderella, had an epic Final Four–achieving run, but his professorial dishevelment ultimately came up short against John Wooden’s prolific eyewear. Bob Knight’s red sweaters were running on fumes after the dogfight against Carnesecca’s Cosby sweaters in the Elite Eight, so Roy Williams’s pinstripes basically cruised into the finals. And now only one thing stands between our two title contenders: which one can cut down the net most stylishly. [Cue the confetti and streamers.]
We’ve been counting down to tomorrow’s official start of the Big Dance with our own March Madness bracket, wherein we’ve pitted the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another—in terms of their signature style items—in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.
And here we are. The Final Four.
This is when champions show their true grit. If you’re planning on watching any of the action this weekend, you’re going to hear one word thrown around a lot: résumé. It’s become the catch-all term for reviewing a team’s performance over the season, and it seems like the right term to use when reviewing the overall style career of these coaches. So now that we’ve made it to the semifinals, we’re going to scrutinize each coach’s personal style résumé even further.
Welcome back to Kempt’s March Madness bracket, wherein we pit the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.
Yesterday we kicked things off with the Sweet 16 of all-time style greats. In case you missed it, we encourage you to read up on the matchups, but we’ll quickly remind you that this is a tournament of iconography—sure, there are plenty of coaches out there who know their way around a tailored suit, but this rarefied bunch has gone beyond that with a courtside style so legendary, you can name the exact items they’re famous for wearing.
Introducing Kempt’s March Madness bracket, wherein we pit the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.
As you’d expect, it takes more than just sporting a pocket square or one nice blazer every so often to be named one of the most stylish college coaches of all time—everyone looks at least halfway decent in a suit and tie.
We were looking for coaches with a distinct through-line of personal style—and since most of these guys spent decades and multiple trend cycles on the sidelines, it usually came down to one iconic item they’d never given up. John Wooden’s thick-rimmed glasses, Bob Knight’s red sweaters or even Jerry Tarkanian’s “chew towel”—that sort of thing. Even if the pattern or cut of their sport jacket changed, that item didn’t. Which meant a guy like Jim Boeheim just missed the cut, because you might not even recognize his surgeon-cuffed look of today as the same guy who wore this in the 1970s. (Also just missing the cut: Gary Williams and his signature sweatiness.)
But there were plenty to choose from, and we just managed to cut the field down to the Sweet 16—which is where we’ll begin today, and continue to narrow down as the week progresses.
Most sports enthusiasts will tell you that the reason we don’t have player-coaches these days has to do with salary caps, collective bargaining agreements and growing complexities of the game. In our estimation, though, the reason is much simpler:
Other than the Jabulani ball, the players’ hair and the rhythmic buzzing of the vuvuzelas, the one thing that has captured our attention more than anything else at this year’s World Cup is the attire of the coaches. Now that the knockout stage is upon us and we’re having to say goodbye to many of these colorful characters, we thought we’d hand out a few coaching style grades…