Elite Eight: History’s Most Stylish College Basketball Coaches
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.
And now, let’s take a look at yesterday’s winners and the Elite Eight matchups.
(1) John Wooden’s Glasses vs. (8) Bruce Pearl’s Orange Blazer: John Wooden’s iconic thick-rimmed glasses thumped Rollie’s unruly hair, and the audacity of Bruce Pearl’s orange blazer just barely edged out the understatedness of John Chaney’s cardigan vest. Now we’ve got a case of all-out flash (the orange blazer) up against solid fundamentals (the glasses). Here’s where things start to get interesting…
(2) Bob Knight’s Red Sweater vs. (7) Lou Carnesecca’s Cosby Sweaters: Bob Knight’s red sweater had the tenacity to weather the persistence of Jerry Tarkanian’s “chew towel,” but now it’s up against a whole team of chunky-knit old-man sweaters in Lou Carnesecca’s collection. Things are heating up. (Partially because they’re both wearing sweaters.)
(3) Roy Williams’s Carolina Blue vs. (11) Rick Pitino’s White Suit: Roy Williams quickly cut the hopes of Herb Magee’s mustache short, and Rick Pitino managed an early exit for Coach K’s Look of Determination by the sheer blinding whiteness—Memorial Day be damned. But this next matchup is going to be a hard-fought battle of tailored wills.
(5) John Thompson’s Towel and Glasses vs. (13) Pete Carril’s Princeton Offense: Pete Carril pulled off an upset in “The Battle of the Bow Ties,” but will he be able to do the same in this next battle (we’ll dub this one “The Twin Ivory Towers”) against the equally-steeped-in-tradition Georgetown coach? Is our octogenarian Cinderella ready for the big ball? Stay tuned for more.
Tomorrow, we unveil the Final Four… *UPDATE: And here they are.
- — Najib Benouar