Once a year, usually around the first week of March, this amazing phenomenon occurs.
It's actually quite similar to what happens during those late, crazy hours at the bar when you are just so attracted to a member of the opposite sex that you take them home with you only to wake up the next morning with a splitting headache and a very ugly person next to you.
People call this crazy phenomenon the case of the "beer goggles" (or if it was really bad, a case of Lasik Eye Surgery).
During March Madness I pull out, what I like to call, my trusty "basketball goggles."
See, every year during March Madness I look for the hottest guys on the team. Hey, look, if I'm going to watch 65 basketball games you better believe I want some eye candy, okay!
I have always had a thing for basketball boys, especially when they are on the court playing. And every March I find dozens of hot men to cheer for, only to wake up in April and go, um, "why on earth was I screaming my head off for Purdue?
I don't even like Purdue!"
I've had a bunch of requests for a piece on the hottest and sexiest college basketball players but kept putting it off because unlike football players with their rock solid physiques or baseball with, well, Derek Jeter, basketball players are usually really tall, lanky and often, very goofy looking—especially in college ball when these youngun's are not fully developed.
See, the funny thing about some of these oh-so-hot-guys on-the-court is....well...I wouldn't look twice at most of them if they were walking down the street by themselves or worked in an office.
But throw them on a basketball court where I can watch them play and look out.
On the court they just possess this amazing skill and precision. There is power and agility combined with their dedication and leadership. And if they can hit a three-point shot, or run the point and direct the court, well forget it, I'm half in love already.
And off the court when they are rolling with the whole team to the bar or strutting around campus (shut up, I know I'm not actually in college anymore.
I have a great memory though) it's their attitude, their swagger that just has most women hooked.
My very long-winded babbling point is: do not judge a basketball player by his pictures. They often look so much better when they are playing on the court and you have your basketball goggles fully in place.
I'll admit, some of the players I picked for my Super Sweet 16 look very odd in pics. But get them on the court and well, HOT DAMN!
I am giving you my list by Sweet 16 matchups, not necessarily in order of hotness. Although by pure luck the first game is Purdue-UConn which puts Purdue as my first hottie and he is by far my favorite!
See, THIS is the reason I will wake up in April and say, "Why on earth was I cheering for Purdue!" There is no denying that this man is ridiculously hot. He definitely makes my hormones boil. Get it, Purdue Boilermakers....yeah okay, lame.
Not only is he hot, but he is actually pretty good! A rare combo. In his freshmen year, he shattered Purdue's record for steals in a season and in his sophomore season he was named the Big 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
* Full Name: Christopher Scott Kramer
* 6'3", 207 pounds
* 4/4/1988 (happy almost b'day!)
* Academic Major: Organizational leadership and supervision. Currently a junior
* Parents' Names: Jon and Susan Kramer
* Siblings: Has one brother, Matthew.
Power, strength, and damn fine body. Yum!
Game Day Stats:
He averages 13.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Leads the Big East Conference in double-doubles with 33 (as of last UConn team homepage update).
He is the powerhouse behind UConn's success and one of their leading scorers. He definitely brings it on the court!
* 6'7", 243 pounds
* Born February 10, 1986 in Naples, Fla.
* Major: Liberal arts major, currently a senior.
* Parents: mom, Linette Adrien
* Siblings: Has a sister, Judith.
I'm not going to say he's the McDreamy of basketball, but his moves on the court are pretty sweet, plus his last name is Love. Bonus points for that. Head Coach Sean Miller had a lot to say about his big man:
"Jason Love is one of the most responsible, hard-working, dedicated kids that I have ever coached. He improves by leaps and bounds every off season because of his approach to becoming the best he can be." ~Xavier Official Athletics Web site
Game Day Stats: averages 7.1 points, 5.9 rebounds per game.
* 6'9", 255 pounds
* Birthdate: 9/15/1987, Philadelphia, PA.
* Major: undecided, currently a junior.
* Family: father Wendell Love
He's quick and has a raw, natural skill about him. Gotta love the little guy that can shoot from way out yet knows how to power to the basket. He's a fierce competitor and is driven by his NBA playing brother to succeed.
Game Day Stats: average 9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game.
* 6'3", 195 pounds
* Birthdate: 4/15/1987, Baltimore, MD
* Major: currently a junior. Went to junior college in Tallahassee, FL
* Parents: Juanita Dixon and Robert Cooper
* Siblings: Phil III, Juan, Nicole. You may know his brother Juan. He plays in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons player and was part of the Maryland's 2002 National Champion team.
* Other: His aunt, Shelia Dixon is the current mayor of Baltimore.
In his junior year, Leo burst out and really began to shine. He was named to the Big 12 All-Improved Team after jumping from 7.4 ppg and 4.3 rpg in his sophomore year to averaging 13.1 points and 5.7 rebounds during his junior year.
And that's nothing! He hit the conference play section of the season and really began to shine. He ranked No. 10 in the Big 12 for both scoring and rebounding last year (conference play)
Game Days Stats: average 14.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game
* 6'9", 244 pounds
* Birthdate: 5/25/1987 Kansas City, KS
* Parent: Georgia Lyons
* Family Man & Mama's Boy: Loves spending time with his fam, talks to his mom before this games and his fave food is mom's chicken with hot sauce.
* Major: not sure but he is a senior and known to be a really talented musician who writes and performs his own music and hopes to one day own a record label.
If I didn't worship Head Coach John Calipari and I needed another reason to advance Memphis through my brackets, here he is.
This guy is sizzling. Not every college basketball player gets hot photo shoots like this one. Because, like I said, most are kinda goofy looking. But Tyreke has a drool worthy body and really impressive skills.
Game Day Stats: 16.6 points per game, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game. He is the Tigers leading scorer and the go-to guy.
Oh and did I mention he is just a freshman?
He's received the Freshman of the Year accolade from The Sporting News, CBSSports.com and FoxSports.com and USBWA (US Baketball Writer's Association), which means he has won the consensus National Freshman of Year distinction.
Right now he is a finalist for National Player of The Year honors for both the 2008-09 Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy—and is the only freshman in the finalists.
* 6'6", 219 pounds
* Full Name: Tyreke Jamir Evans
* Birthdate: 9/19/1989
* Parents: John and Benita Evans
* Major: undeclared, freshman
This former Big East Rookie of the Year has been an explosive and deadly force for 'Nova. He can play both guard positions with a mastered skill that many hope to achieve.
In other words, he can shoot the sweet three that I love so much, lead the floor and still manage to drive himself into the basket. There is nothing sexier than a little guy that can do all of that!
Well, unless he has a brother that can do it, too.
Game Day Stats: averages 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game and is the team's second leading scorer. Was awarded the Most Outstanding Player of the Year award at the 2008 Villanova awards banquet.
* 6'2", 190 pounds
* Birthdate: 10/10/1987
* Parents: Pam & Rick Reynolds
* Siblings: as two brothers, Eric and Ross, and three sisters, Kelli Platt, Susie, and Daihilia
Forget Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson and even Jon Scheyer. I want this guy:
He might not have the fame, stature and stats of his teammates but make no mistake, this little guy is one of the top three-point shooting threats in the country.
He is ranked No. 12 in the ACC career record book--as in, of all time in the ACC....you know, the big name schools...for three-point field goal percentage/attempts with 41.5 percent. And he is ranked No. 4 in the Duke career books too.
Plus, in the previous three seasons, he lead the team in assists. Okay so maybe he's not having the best senior season but whatever. He is still hotter than the other guys!
Game Day Stats: 5.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists
* 6'1", 185 pounds
* Full name: Gregory Russell Paulus
* 7/3/1986, orginially from Syracuse
* Parents: Dave and Denise Paulus
* Siblings: Has four older brothers: David, Matt, Dan and Chris. Younger brother, Mike, and a younger sister, Sarah
* Major: political science with a certificate in markets and management studies. Currently a senior.
Nic was a huge standout in high school and lead his team to the Texas state championship. His college stats have been solid, but not up to what people expected. But this past year, Little Nic became part of what is known as the Big Three--the dominating force behind Arizona's success.nic-
When Nic and his fellow Big Three buddies, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill are all on and working together, they are absolutely fabulous. He's tiny, only 5'10, but he can run the floor, drive to the basket and hit the sweet shot. That's Hot!
Game Day Stats: averages 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists per game
* 5'10, 177 pounds
* Birthday: 9/8/1987
* Parents: Greg Wise
Gotta give props to Preston! He chose to go to Louisville because he knew Coach Rick Pitino would be great for his personal growth and could really make him a better person. And in return, he has given back to the team in a huge way.
Game Day Stats: averages 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds per game .He leads the Big East in three-point shooting percentage and could be a deadly threat at the end of a game--he is just a bit inconsistent still. Personally I feel he makes up for that with his yumminess. Boys do not usually agree with that fact.
* 6'1, 170 pounds
* Born March 26, 1989
* Parent: mom Kym Gipson
* Siblings: sisters Ashley Jamilla Conner, two younger brothers Tavon Lay, Anthony Lay
* Major: psychology with a minor in business and marketing, currently a sophomore
* Likes: He has a soft, sensitive side and likes reading poetry and daydreaming. And cuddling with his puppy! How cute!
I just wanted to give a quick mention to Will. I felt that Preston gave a bit more to the team and that's why he ultimately got a spot in my Sweet 16 but I was really struck by Will.
After reading an article about all of Will's accomplishments, I was a bit wowed. He's not your "typical jock stereotype." This kid has looks, skill and brains all together. He was recently accepted into Oxford's exclusive and elite program to study Chinese, hoping to one day be a Chinese diplomat.
He already has his bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in Chinese and is currently working on his master’s in business administration. Through it all, even while being apart of Rick Pitino's elite squad, he has maintained a 3.9 GPA.
“I think that’s tremendous. I’m real proud of Will. He’s been a delight to coach. He transferred from Cornell [University] because he wanted to be a part of big time basketball. He’s never had a bad day personality-wise and he’s always upbeat. Regardless of if he plays or not, it doesn’t matter [to him]. He’s been a shining light for our program for the time he’s been here.” ~Rick Pitino from The Louisville Cardinal
Jonny's leadership and drive has been a huge part of Syracuse's tournament success this year. In his freshman year, he was thrust into the leading position and he ran with it. He became the Big East Co-Rookie of the Year. His sophomore year has been even more impressive as he has continued to grow and develop as a player and a leader. There is much speculation about him joining the NBA draft at the end of this year and if he is actually ready for that.
He is a little guy, even by point guard standards but he is quick and can really handle the ball. He has a really sweet three-point shot--when he can make it. He's not the most consistent. And his major downfall is that he wishes he was a little bit taller. He tends to try to power into the basket only to get tied up by the bigger, badder defenders. But it's super hot to watch him take it to the basket and be able to dunk the ball, then step back a few plays later and sink an outside shot!
Game Day Stats: averages 17.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists per game.
* 6'0, 185 pounds
* 2/6/1989, Niagra Falls, NY
* Parents: Rev. William and Deirdre Flynn.
* Siblings: sister Tabitha
* Major: communication and rhetorical studies, currently a sophomore
It would be impossible for me to mention one without the other, especially given my history of loving basketball-playing-brothers. These two represent everything that is great and wonderful about basketball: hottie brothers playing it, and playing it well!
Yeah okay, there are other great things about basketbll but who can really deny hottie brothers double the pleasure and double the fun? The NY Times printed a fantastic article about the brothers!
(for more about each brother, see the original post of this article on Stiletto Sports).
First off, I have to confess, I am a sucker for short point guards who rock the #4. Just a thing I have. Second, I have a thing for Kansas point guards. But even if those weren't the case, Sherrell is actually worthy of my Sweet 16 nomination!
Sherrell was a shining star last season in the National Championship game against Memphis. He didn't start but wound up playing most of the game and racked in 11 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. His clutch three-point shot with 1:46 remaining in the game brought KU back from being down nine. Who can forget Mario Chalmers' game-tying three pointer with 2.1 left? Well, it was Sherrell that got the ball to Chalmers for that shot.
His skills and floor presence have been developing rapidly and he has become the solid foundation of the team.
Game Day Stats: averages 18.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. The teams lead scorer.
* Full name: Sherrell Marlon Collins
* 5'11, 200 pounds
* Parents: mom Stacy Harris
* Major: African and African American Studies, currently a sophomore
* Others: he was also a wide receiver AND star pitcher for his high school. Talk about your well rounded athletes.
This kid has a whole lot of potential and I can't wait to watch him grow into it! He was a star in high school until his senior year when he was sidelined after the first game because of his knee surgery. That first game boasted impressive numbers and a dunk that was listed in the Top 10 plays on ESPN.
In February, Delvon was named Big 10 Player of the Week after his solid performance against rivals, Michigan. He pulled down 14 points and 10 rebounds, 11 of the points coming in his explosive first half performance.
game day stats: averages 6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game
* 6'7, 215 pounds
* Birthdate: 10/3/1989, Ohio
* Parents: Delvon and Tracey
* Major: Criminal justice, currently a freshman
Here's another little guy on the brink of setting NCAA basketball on fire! Despite being injured for the first half his freshmen season, he broke out and really began to shine last year. He was nearly lethal with his 46% 3-point shooting percentage. He even held his own going into the 2008 tournament but unfortunately, the Zags came up against Davidson and pitted Steven Grey against Stephen Curry, who was having a huge breakout run of his own.
This year has been a little bit quieter for Grey. He's been coming off the bench and all the analysts say he looks a little unsure of himself. He has the potential, he just needs to believe it a little big more and he will definitely be a shining star.
Game Day Stats: averages 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game
* 6'5, 208 pounds
* Parents: Robert and Lorraina. Robert was ball player for University of Kentucky
* Siblings: sister Brittany who is baskeball star for Gonzaga women's team
Once again, there isn't much I can say about this guy that hasn't already been said. He is the Mr. Big Name. And apparently, this poster of him shows that he is also Mr. Teen Beat.
I definitely need to warn everyone, he does not always look so perfect and air-brushed. He can be a hot mess. But his body is hot and his play is top-notch, so even in those moments when his nose gets smashed in--again---he still works it.
Game Day Stats:
* Atlantic Coast Conference All Conference Team: 2006. 2007, 2008...etc....
* ACC Freshman of the Year, 2006
* ACC Conference Player of the Year, 2008
* Sports Illustrated and Sporting News National Player of the Year, 2008
He's so good that his number will actually be retired when he graduates.
* Full Name: Andrew Tyler Hansbrough. Wow. As if Tyler wasn't hot-boy name enough! Andrew is another Hot-Boy Name! Double the hotness! (For the record, I have concluded that "Nick" is the ultimate Hot Boy name.)
* Birthdate: November 3, 1985
* 6'8, 240 pounds of hard muscle....
* Parents: Dr. Gene Hansbrough and Tami Wheat (ironic for me because my friend Nick---who is the hottest guy I know and helped me conclude that the name Nick is a Hot Boy Name---has the nickname Wheat).
* Siblings: Ben Hansbrough, also a college ball player.
I have to at least through a quick yummy to Wayne Ellington because this photo is just....well, yeah. Yum.
This Slide Show was originally published as a two-part article on Stiletto Sports. There is additional proof--er, photos--there!