I went through all 64 schools that made the real first round of the tournament (sorry, play-in game losers) and found their most embarrassing famous alum. They have been ranked from least embarrassing to most embarrassing.
64. Ole Miss: Eli Manning
Famed Muppet Eli Manning was far more embarrassing before he went and became one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. His derpy-ness gets him on the list. But his championships keep him at the bottom.
63. Creighton: Anthony Tolliver
Anthony Tolliver isn’t really embarrassing. He’s an average NBA player. But Creighton has done well to avoid super-humiliating alums. So good on you, Creighton. Sorry, Anthony.
62. Florida Gulf Coast: The Bassist From A Band Called 7 Blue Skies
FGCU only has like seven famous alumni. This is a meta-embarrassment, but other than this album cover, I know nothing about 7 Blue Skies.
61. Western Kentucky: He Hate Me
When he finally made it out of the XFL and into the NFL, Rod Smart became less embarrassing and even made it to the Super Bowl with the Panthers. But being the face (back?) of the XFL? Oof.
60. Memphis: Fred Thompson
Fred Thompson wouldn’t be on this list if he never ran for president. He was a senator from Tennessee AND was on Law and Order. That’s awesome. But then he ran for president and finished like 745th in the weakest Republican primary field in history.
59. Belmont: DJ Qualls
From a coworker: “Take DJ Qualls off that list! He was in Hustle and Flow and Road Trip. He had the courage to be an actor despite being weird-looking.”
57. South Dakota State: Tom Daschle
Having to withdraw your name from consideration for a Cabinet post because you didn’t pay a whole bunch of taxes will get you here.
56. St. Mary’s: Mark Teahen
Featured in the famed Michael Lewis book Moneyball, which claimed that he had the potential to become the next Jason Giambi. He did not.
55. San Diego State: Mika Tan
Mika’s Wikipedia describes her as a “fetish/pantyhose model.” We’re a sex-positive site. She’s only here because why do you have to go to college for that?
54. Bucknell: Les Moonves
On one hand, he’s the genius who made CBS the top network in television. On the other, Two and a Half Men and NCIS.
53. Oregon: Norv Turner
The maligned former coach of the Chargers finally got fired this year after years of people talking about how terrible a coach he was. His next job? With my beloved, terrible Cleveland Browns. Norv is not moving up in the world.
UNLV: Suge Knight (REMOVED FROM COMPETITION)
He gets credit for helping give the world Dr. Dre, NWA, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac. He loses credit for possibly being involved with the deaths of Tupac and Biggie. Also this photo.
SUGE KNIGHT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM COMPETITION, DUE TO THERE BEING A WAAAAAY MORE EMBARRASSING UNLV ALUM. JUST WAIT.
52. Iona: Jeff Ruland
Jeff Ruland was a solid NBA player, but just look at that flattop and mustache.
51. La Salle: A.J. Daulerio
A.J. Daulerio is probably on cocaine right now and is most famous for buying photos of Brett Favre’s penis. Those things aren’t all that embarrassing — unless you’re an institution of higher learning.
50. Louisville: Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell tells bad jokes about Golden Girls. Also he looks like a turtle.
49. Gonzaga: Jason Bay
*Mets and Red Sox fans nodding.*
48. VCU: The Real Patch Adams
You’re a doctor! Act like a doctor, dammit! You know what doesn’t put my mind at ease at a hospital? A doctor treating me like an open-mic audience.
47. Akron: Charlie Frye
On the plus side, Charlie Frye convinced two different NFL teams that he might be a viable starting quarterback. On the negative side, he wasn’t.
46. New Mexico: Hank Baskett
Reality-TV stardom = embarrassing.
Married to a Playboy bunny = not embarrassing.
Washing out of the NFL while focusing on your reality-TV career = embarrassing.
45. St. Louis: Larry Hughes
I still think the Cavs signing Larry Hughes was the reason LeBron eventually left.
42. Colorado: Rick Reilly
The once-legendary columnist has been reduced to being a bad talking head begging for attribution for stories he didn’t break.
41. James Madison: Tatanka
40. Florida: Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow couldn’t start over Mark Sanchez. I repeat. Tim Tebow couldn’t start over Mark Sanchez.
39. Valparaiso: The Red-Shirt Kid in “Crazy Frog Bros”
He is currently a student there.
38. Wisconsin: Bud Selig
Ten years ago, he would have been much more embarrassing. But then David Stern voided a Lakers–Chris Paul trade, Roger Goodell shrugged his shoulders about player safety while pretending to care, and Gary Bettman did Gary Bettman things. Now Bud Selig is probably the best commissioner in sports. Insane.
37. Pittsburgh: Harry K. Thaw
Sure he’s a murderer, but he’s an old-timey murderer who murdered Stanford White in a crime of passion. So he comes in here instead of with all the other murderers who are closer to No. 1.
36. Arizona: Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie has become a fairly responsible and productive/normal member of society. But she was once on The Simple Life, so…
35. N.C. State: Vinny Del Negro
The Clippers are really good, but nobody says it’s because of VDN. There’s a reason everyone wanted him fired last year.
34. Davidson: Patricia Cornwell
The queen of mom literature.
33. Kansas State: Michael Beasley
One of the most disappointing NBA busts in a long time. Also he’s a weirdo.
32. Pacific: Michael Olowokandi
Maybe the worst first pick in NBA history. It’s entirely possible that you, sitting there in front of your computer, are better at basketball than the Kandi Man.
31. Montana: Michael Ray Richardson
Was banned for life for violating the NBA’s drug policy three times. The ban was lifted in 1988, but then he failed two more cocaine tests in 1991.
30. Georgetown: Michael Sweetney
*Knicks fans committing Seppuku*
29. Oklahoma State: Brandon Weeden
He was a 29-year-old NFL rookie who got sacked by the American flag.
28. Indiana: Jared Fogle
Yeah. You lost all that weight from eating Subway. Sure.
27. Northwestern State: Darryl Willis
The face of BP’s Deepwater Horizon claim process. There’s nothing quite like being the face of one of the worst environmental disasters ever.
25. Cincinnati: Ruben Patterson
Ruben Patterson is a former NBA player/sex offender who pleaded guilty to the attempted rape of his child’s nanny.
24. Villanova: Toby Keith
He attended Nova for only one year, but that’s enough to make the list.
23. Michigan State: Former Bachelor Bob Guiney
He was on The Bachelor. On purpose.
22. Cal: Tom from MySpace
Everyone’s least favorite friend.
21. North Carolina: Mike Nifong
Mike Nifong was the prosecuting attorney in the Duke lacrosse case who was accused of hiding evidence, manipulating witnesses, and misleading the court. He was disbarred.
20. Kansas: Steve Doocy
Just look at that smug face.
19. Southern: Randy Jackson
The one original judge that everyone hated on American Idol. And coincidentally the one original judge still on the show.
18. Syracuse: Brad Anderson
Anderson created the comedy apocalypse that is Marmaduke.
17. Illinois: Gene Shalit
(Insert pun here.)
15. Notre Dame: Nicholas Sparks
14. Marquette: Matthew Lesko
That guy from those annoying infomercials? Yeah, he apparently went to college.
13. Iowa State: Parviz Davoodi
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s former vice president.
11. Harvard: Ted Kaczynski
The Unabomber is so embarrassing that he shows up on the list for both his undergrad…
10. Michigan: Ted Kaczynski
…and grad school!
8. UCLA: “Dating Game Killer” Rodney Alcala
Rodney Alcala was a winning contestant on The Dating Game before becoming a notorious serial killer.
7. Butler: Jim Jones
Founder of the Peoples Temple. Responsible for 1978 mass-cult suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. More than 900 people died.
6. UNLV: Guy Fieri
Guy Fieri was originally not included in this list. I apologize for this horrific oversight. This may be the selection committee’s most egregious blunder ever. Suge Knight has been removed from competition.
5. Missouri: SallyAnn Salsano
Creator of Jersey Shore.
4. Duke: Tucker Max
Author of creepy rape-culture touchstones like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Assholes Finish First.
2. North Carolina A&T: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
The mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.
1. Ohio State: Bruce Villanch
Jeffrey Dahmer is the second most embarrassing person to have gone to Ohio State.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this item misstated Colorado State’s most embarrassing alum. The school’s most embarrassing alum is Anwar al-Awlaki. The list has been re-ordered to reflect the change. (3/21/13)
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