Gotham Classic - Temple v Syracuse

It’s finally tournament time again! Around the world people have begun filling out brackets and making selections based on a number of random sets of criteria such as uniform color or which mascot would win in a fight. Regardless of the success of your bracket or your interest in college basketball there is one thing everyone can all enjoy together while taking in the games: the incredible collection of names that emerge when you scan the rosters of 68 teams full of 18-to-22 year olds.

What began as an idea for an “All-Name Team” ballooned into a “64-Name Bracket” which in turn ballooned into the list you see now, the Top 100 Names of the NCAA Tournament.

First And Foremost
Syracuse – F – Rakeem Christmas

Tourney Snubs
There are a lot of quality names, but I have to mention what a shame it is that the St. John’s Red Storm didn’t make the tournament, as they have two of the best names in all of college basketball on their roster

G/F – Sir’Dominic Pointer
F – God’sgift Achiuwa

Now, on to the next 99…

First Names I Really Wish I’d Been Given
Cincinnati – G – Cashmere WrightOf course it’s Cashmere!
UCLA – G/F – Shabazz Muhammad
Ole Miss – G – Martavious Newby
Minnesota – G – Maverick Ahanmisi
Oregon – C – Waverly Austin
Memphis – G/F – Adonis ThomasI’ll never get over not being named Adonis

Missouri – G – Negus Webster-Chan“Negus” means King in the Ethiopian language of Amharic
St Louis – F – Grandy GlazeAwesome wrinkle: might be named after a Tim Horton’s doughnut
New Mexico State – C – Sim Bhullar7-foot-5, 355 lbs. putting him on here to stay on his good side

St Louis – F – Rob LoeI think he did his best work on West Wing
Saint Mary’s – G – Stephen HoltSteve Holt!
Michigan State – G – Denzel Valentine
North Carolina – F – Denzel Robinson
Pitt – G/F – Chris Jones – He’ll challenge you to a 10-round fight if you disagree with his performance
Iowa State – G – Babu Palo – The Dream Cafe will be opening shortly after the tournament

Reminder That You’re Old
Memphis – F – Shaq GoodwinShaq was a rookie in 1993 and 1993 was 20 years ago. Whoa
Cincinnati – F – Shaquille ThomasOver / Under on guys named LeBron in the 2023 tournament is 3.5

Fun With Apostrophe’s
OK State – G/F – Le’Bryan NashBryan Nash works in IT. Le’Bryan Nash will dunk on your family
Georgetown – G – D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera
Cincinnati – G – Ge’Lawn GuynThis is the first time I’ve ever seen “Lawn” in a name
Davidson – F – De’Mon Brooks
Oklahoma – G – Je’lon HornbeakAlso the name of a species in Land Before Time

One and a Half First Names
North Carolina A&T – F – DaMetrius Upchurch
Southern University – G – YonDarius JohnsonThe really boring version of Darius Johnson
Villanova – F – JayVaughn PinkstonEverything about this name is great
San Diego State – G – LaBradford Franklin

Awesome First Names
Temple – G/F – Scootie RandallScootie!!!
VCU – G – Briante Weber
Middle Tennesse – G – Tweety KnightHis little brother Google+ Knight is even better
Oklahoma – G – Buddy Hield
Butler – G – Rotnei ClarkeEspecially fun to say if you have a friend named Rodney nearby
Kansas – G – Naadir Tharpe
Memphis – F – Ferrakohn HallAlso the name of a residence at the University of World Religion
James Madison – F – Enoch Hood
UCLA – G – Khalid McCaskill
Nex Mexico – G – Cleveland Thomas

NBA2K13 Automated Rookies
Colorado State – C – Colton Iverson
Akron – G – Carmelo Betancourt

Best Lineup Of Names On One Team
Wichita State – F – Chadrack LufileChadrack
Wichita State – F – Cleanthony Early
Wichita State – F – Derail GreenYou have to wonder what led to him being named Derail
Wichita State – F – Tekele Cotton
Wichita State – G – Fred Van VleetThere are limericks about this guy waiting to write themselves

Boise State – G – Igor Hadziomerovic
Boise State – F – Vukasin Vujovic
Davidson – G – Chris Czerapowicz
Indiana – F – Hanner Mosquera-PereaDoubles as my favorite Miley Cyrus alter-ego

Comic Book Characters
Western Kentucky – G – Percy BladeA super-villain with knives for hands, or so I assume
Butler – F – Roosevelt Jones
Iowa State – G – Kory Lucious
James Madison – C – Gene SwindleI believe he’s an evil lawyer
North Carolina State – G – Chase Cannon
Colorado – G – Spencer Dinwiddie
Akron – G – Blake JusticeOur hero, saving us from the merciless kinfe-hands of Percy Blade
UNLV – F – Savon GoodmanHe works at the same firm as Gene Swindle
San Diego State – G – Jeremy Castleberry
Marquette – G – Vander BluePretend he’s your enemy and yell “Vander Blue!” while shaking your fist

Baseball Players
Memphis – G – Joe JacksonThat’s where he went after walking into the corn in Field of Dreams
Florida Gulf Coast – F – Eddie MurrayHe’ll be DHing for the duration of the tourney

Imagine These Being Said By Marv Albert Ater A Dunk
Valparaiso – F – Bobby CapobiancoI’m going to need proof this isn’t a Nick Kroll character
Akron – G – Deji Ibitayo
Pittsburgh – Talib Zanna
Temple – G – Quenton DeCosey
Harvard – F – Steve Moundou-Missi
Syracuse – C – Baye Keita
UNLV – F – Khem Birch
Cincinnati – F – Titus Rubles
Colorado – G – Askia Booker
Marquette – G – Junior Cadougan
Illinois – F/C – Nnanna EgwuNobody’s love or cooking can compare to Nnanna

Easy Headlines / Puns
Liberty – G – Tavares Speaks…and the world listens
California – F – Bak BakGod have mercy on us all if Chris Berman gets to say this.
Michigan – G – Spike Albrecht
Iona – G – Tavon Sledge
Norte Dame – F – Mike Broghammer
Ole Miss – G – Cade Peeper“It’s a Peep show!”
Belmont – G – Caleb Chowbay - “Chowbay? Chowbayyy? It’s CHOWBY!”

Challenging Names To Say Out Loud
Iowa State – G – Nkereuwem Okoro
Iona – F – Nyandigisi Moikobu
Creighton – F – Mogoboluwaga Oginni
Villanova – F – Mouphtaou Yarou
Villanova – G – Achraf Yacoubou
Illinois – F/C – Ibby Djimde
James Madison – G – Alioune Diouf

Interesting Basketball-Related Names
LIU Brooklyn – G – Jason BrickmanNot the most reassuring last name
Colorado – G – Beau Gamble - “It didn’t work out, but it was a Beau Gamble”
Miami – F – Erik Swoope
North Carolina State – G – Staats BattleDoubles as the definition of most sports arguments
Michigan State – G – Russell ByrdI’ll take a shot in the dark and say his parents are Celtics fans. (Wears #0)

2nd Generation Talent
Michigan – F – Glenn Robinson IIIThe Little Big Dog
Michigan – G – Tim Hardaway Jr
Southern University – C – Madut Bol
UCLA – G – Larry Drew II

Guys who are already in the NBA
South Dakota State – G – Taevaunn PrinceStop saying Tayshaun
San Diego State – F – James Johnson
UNLV – Daquan Cook
Pacific – C – Tim ThomasAlso the best goalie in the whole NCAA tournament
UCLA – F/C – Tony Parker

There you have it, the Top-100 (plus two) names to enjoy while you’re watching the action for the next 3 weeks.