The Hottest Cheerleaders of March Madness 2012

Ryan KlockeFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2012

The Hottest Cheerleaders of March Madness 2012

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    Who doesn't like cheerleaders? Who wouldn't feel a tad incomplete if the March Madness experience didn't include smiling faces and pom-pom waving and leg-kicks that defy the laws of physics?

    It's not only awesome, it's a necessity: We need Cinderella stories, a 12-over-5 upset, and the sounds of pep bands blaring music while beautiful coeds play to CBS' cameras before and after commercials. 

    The formula's proven. The sights and sounds and sex appeal of this ever-so-righteous month of basketball wouldn't be complete without cheerleaders. So, of course, B/R needs to pay homage.

    These are actual cheerleaders from this year's March Madness. Really – this year's. No old, recycled photo from a Google search of a woman whose now 27, working in accounting, and hasn't stepped foot on campus in five years. No borrowing from a blog who borrowed it from another blog who stole it off MySpace in 2005. 

    Nope, all 2012, all within the last month. You may have seen them on ESPN during the conference tourneys, and you may see them in the upcoming weeks of the NCAA tournament. Regardless, they represent one of our favorite things about the madness of this month. 

Flexibility Is Key

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    Ummm? Wow.

    Yeah, "wow" is the right word for this situation. For 99 percent of us reading this, we'd have a better chance of windmill dunking from the free-throw line then pulling of the move you see above here. And, as you'll see a bit later, she isn't the only one from San Diego State with acrobatic skills. 

    Luckily, we'll get to see more of her and her Aztec teammates in the NCAA tourney. 

The Super-Hot Standard

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    What a surprise, a hot Florida State cheerleader. Shocking. Stunning. Oh. My. Goodness.

    Really, finding a hot girl at Florida State is like spotting a tree in a forest. They're everywhere, and of course you approve. 

    That school is a hotness factory, and they're pretty good at basketball these days, too. Just ask North Carolina, which was upset by the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament Championship. 

Gael Force

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    You may not know where St. Mary's college is, and it's probably hard to care about the fact it's in the town of Moraga, Calif. (a San Francisco/Oakland suburb) when looking at a picture like this. 

    This is Texas hot, Florida State hot, USC hot. 

    You'll see, as this cheerleading squad will make a another appearance here. (Oh yeah, the school they're cheering for is also pretty good at basketball – WCC tourney champs; No. 7 seed.)

... Part 2

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    Encore! 

    This photographer obviously liked what he saw, and I'm not blaming our friend from Getty Images one bit. In fact, his fondness for St. Mary's cheerleaders has forced me — a San Francisco Bay Area resident — to write myself a little reminder: 

    Go to St. Mary's basketball games next season. 

Sparty Approves

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    Can't argue with this year if you're a Michigan State fan, what with Izzo and his boys winning the Big 10 Tourney (for the first time since their championship-clinching year in 2000) and capturing a No. 1 seed. Not bad at all for starting the season unranked and getting waxed by UNC on the deck of an aircraft carrier. 

    Through it all, though, the cheerleaders remained the same, hot constant. 

    Now, MSU is in the driver's seat, which means – barring any major upsets – we'll be seeing plenty of these girls in the next couple weeks. 

You Can't Do This

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    Go outside and try this, come on. Go into your front yard, preferably with a few buddies (one of whom will be ready with their iPhone camera), and see if you can pull this move off. 

    Rockettes don't kick this high. If this San Diego State cheerleader's shoe was untied, it would fly up, and then bounce off of, the top of the stadium roof. 

    As for you? Ten bucks you either A) fail miserably; B) hurt yourself; C) embarrass yourself; or D) All of the above.

    We're going with "D."

Cure for the Common Unibrow

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    There's a big trade-off for die-hard Kentucky fans this season: Though they get to enjoy the incredibly athletic, block-tastic, player-of-the-year worthy talent of Anthony Davis, they also have to stare at his unibrow. 

    While it's probably worth it, considering the Wildcats' two-loss record and No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, that v-shape thoroughfare of hair on Davis' forehead still isn't exactly easy on the eyes. 

    Luckily, cheerleaders like the one you see here can help. Whenever the eyes need an aversion, you've got shimmering blue, short-skirted uniforms. 

Florida State

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    What was that about Florida State and beautiful women? Well, here's exhibit No. 2. (We could actually do a slideshow just on Seminoles cheerleaders ...note to self.)

    And really, what makes pictures like this even better is that these girls are cheering for a team you could totally pull for. If you like underdogs, Florida State should be your school, as they've proven rather adept at dispatching Duke and North Carolina this year. 

    Maybe the Blue Devils and Tar Heels were distracted. 

Go Commodores!

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    It's hard to not root for Vanderbilt (aside from the fact that Jay Cutler and Skip Bayless are alums). The "Stanford of the South" is constantly outgunned by the big, jock-like schools of the SEC come football season. 

    Basketball, though? They made the NCAA tournament in 2011 and took it to Kentucky this year in the SEC Tournament Championship game. Smart, good on the hardwood, and apparently packing a pretty squad of cheerleaders, too — Vandy is on the rise. 

Ladies in Red

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    These Ohio State uniforms may be hideous looking and lame — they look like Christmas sweaters — but the women who are wearing them sure make up for the sartorial decisions of their stylist. For the many Buckeyes fans out there lamenting NCAA sanctions in football and the Big-10 tourney title game loss to MSU, this pic is for you. 

    How can you not cheer up when seeing this? 

    (Plus, you're a two-seed and got Urban Meyer come fall — you'll be fine). 

Gator Gumption

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    If only I was a star athlete at Florida, if only I was a star athlete at Florida ...

    You can keep telling yourself that, though it's not going to help. 

Wait, I Thought This Was a Football School

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    Hold on, Alabama has a basketball team?! 

    OK, facetiousness aside, props to the Crimson Tide for not only an incredible football season, but an NCAA tourney berth as well. It can't be easy playing any other sport besides football in Tuscaloosa, yet this team picked up a nine-seed, and gave us reasons to check out their cheerleading squad for at least another week. 

    Wait, rephrase: This team gave us reasons to check out their smoking hot cheerleading squad for at least another week. 

Geaux Girls

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    LSU didn't make the NCAA Tourney, which is a shame. Not because I like the Tigers, which I don't (can't name a B-Ball player of theirs since Tyrus Thomas wore their colors), but because of photos like you see here. 

    There's just something about SEC girls. Never mind that LSU went 18-15 this year, they deserve a bid based on what their cheerleaders brought to the SEC Tournament. Bounce Iona or Vermont, they've got as much of a chance of winning (zero) as the Tigers do. 

Hail to the Hot Cheerleaders

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    Personally, I'm a bigger fan of Michigan State's cheerleading squad, which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was raised a Spartans fan. Actually, wait, yeah, it does. Green and White has always trumped Maize and Blue for this former Midwesterner, though it's not like U of M's cheer product is exactly lacking in (see attached photo). 

    After a BCS year in football, the Wolverines basketball team showed it can be a big player again in the Big 10, too. It earned them a four-seed. Maybe it was the cheering? 

Go-Go Lobos

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    When you think Mountain West, you think football, just the way it is. (Or you get your school and conferences mixed up like I did writing this in the first place.) 

    But, cheerleaders like these, and a strong showing by New Mexico, are helping change that perception. 

Cowgirl Up

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    I've never been to Wyoming, and really don't ever plan on going there. I like warm weather and big cities, and this state has neither, by a long, long shot. 

    Then again, maybe there is something to the mountain air. It sure does wonders for pretty faces (from my totally scientific analysis), as this picture proves. Bummer the Cowboys didn't do better in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. 

Boiling Hot

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    Purdue gets props for a numbers of reasons: 

    1) World's Largest Bass Drum

    2) The Boilermakers scrapped their way to a 10-seed after surviving the hectic Big 10

    3) The brunette cheerleader attached to this slide. 

    That being said, they face a tough first-round matchup against St. Marys – on the basketball and cheerleader front, as you'll soon see. 

Where's BC At?

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    Remember when Boston College was really, really good at basketball? Like highly-ranked, highly-seeded, you-put -them-in-your-Final Four good? 

    Seems like forever ago, huh. 

    Shame. I'm guessing you'd like a lot more pics of this cheerleader from the upcoming weeks, and not a shot just from the ACC tournament. Get better, BC. Play to the level of your cheer squad. 

UNC Beauty

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    Spoiled North Carolina fans. 

    Not only do you get to root for one of the best schools ever (having that Michael Jordan trump card must be pretty nice when arguing with friends), but you also get the benefit of gazing upon cheerleaders who wear the shortest skirts in the history of cheerleading. 

    Really. There's some kind of record/rule being broken here. 

Rock Chalk ...

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    ... Wait, how does the rest of that chant go? I got distracted looking at this picture. 

    No. 2 overall seed, perennial power in the Big 12, a cheerleading squad composed of students like this — must be pretty nice to be a Kansas fan. 

    It's so nice, in fact, I don't feel sorry for you being stuck with Charlie Weis anymore as your football coach. 

... Jayhawk!

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    You can take No. 2 Kansas' starting lineup; take it all the way to the Final Four if your heart desires. Over here in Swagger-land, we'll go ahead and trade for the more preferable lineup you see here. (Besides, the consensus around here is that Kentucky is going to win, anyway.)

Kentucky Fried Hotness

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    You may hate Rick Pitinio's white suits, but the red ensembles worn by Louisville's cheerleaders aren't nearly as polarizing. 

    There's no love/hate thing here — only the former. Sadly, the No. 4 seed Cardinals aren't going to get past No. 1 Michigan State, but if things work out that way, we'll at least enjoy their cheerleaders until the Sweet 16. 

Too Bad

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    Yeah, you can go check your bracket – The University of San Diego ins't on there. Sports-wise, they're just another school in the WCC. 

    Cheerleader-wise, though? Dang. There's no way this picture wasn't going to be included. One day they'll advance beyond the WCC tourney. 

Don't Forget Duke

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    Look, love them or hate them (most of you probably fit in the latter category), you can't argue that the NCAA Tournament wouldn't be the same if Duke wasn't in the bracket. 

    Same thing with any slideshow related to the tourney. We couldn't overlook Duke here. 

    Luckily, pics like this aren't easily forgettable. 

Had I Mentioned This School Yet?

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    Oh, I did reference Florida State, already? Multiple times, you say? Oh, well. Do you really care that they're making a third appearance here? I could always throw in somebody from Lehigh? 

    No?

    Well, that works for me.