The 60 Hottest Fanbases of March Madness
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The NCAA Tournament is one of the seminal events in sports. It's March Madness. It's a week when office boundaries are crossed all in the name of mastering the maddening calculus of filling out the least worst tournament bracket.
While most of us are relegated to soaking up the excitement from afar and living vicariously through our doomed picks, the 64 teams actually playing basketball have legions of fans buoyed by a dream not yet shattered.
It's one of the few collegiate athletic events that brings together (regionally) such a diverse array of Americans. It's a rare opportunity for lesser known schools to get national exposure and for diehard fans to learn more about people and places they'd otherwise never know.
March Madness also marries two glorious treasures America cherishes: beautiful women and bracket tournaments.
While the tournament teams are battling it out on the court to determine basketball supremacy, I let the women cheering them on battle it out in my mind to determine whose fanbase is the hottest.
Much like the parody tournament brackets that pit adorable baby animals against each other, they all win...but to varying degrees.
These are the hottest fanbases of March Madness.
60. Western Kentucky University
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have some pretty stiff in-state competition for hoops glory. When Kentucky and Louisville are in the general vicinity, it’s not likely an up-and-comer like the Hilltoppers will ever be the top story.
However, WKU has transformed into a tournament regular, so it’s time for their fans to rejoice, and I reckon few ladies are as easygoing and rife with Appalachian charm as those who frolic with Big Red.
59. Northwestern State
Northwestern State is probably going to get smoked by the Florida Gators in the first round.
But, this is their time in the sun, so school can possibly pull off an amazing upset, or at least show off their…assets.
Any school with an athletic program nicknamed the Demons has to feature some pretty wild girls who like to look good being bad. Bonus: sexy Louisiana accent.
58. Belmont University
Belmont University is vying to be this year's tournament Cinderella, but even if the Bruins are one-and-done, the school has plenty of super-polite cuties who could play the role.
Located in the epicenter of country music—Nashville—Belmont’s ladies have probably inspired more than a few broken hearts to write a sad tune.
57. University of Montana
I have a question: How could a college in Montana be known as anything other than ‘The Grizzlies’?
Fortunately, new tournament regular the University of Montana claims the nickname so all of the state’s other schools are rendered infeasible (just kidding!).
Seriously, living in the kind of place where nature’s almost untouched majesty is just outside the door is guaranteed to pad your score merely by association.
56. James Madison University
James Madison University is known as a veritable oasis of college life, where students embrace the civic spirit of the school’s namesake while never neglecting the oh-so-important element of playing hard…since they work so hard.
Oh, and the Dukes have a pretty good basketball team, too…don’t let their seeding fool you (But, yes, the Hoosiers will probably crush them). JMU has the kind of vibrant atmosphere that seems to bloom girls that manage to be hot, nice and conscientious.
55. University of Akron
Outside of Ohio, Akron is best known to the general public as the hometown of NBA superstar LeBron James.
You probably thought the whole damn town shuttered its windows, locked its doors, and headed west on the Oregon Trail after King James took his talents to South Beach.
But it's just not so! The Akron Zips are still motoring along and the LeBron drought never once impacted a crop of freshman chicks.
That was a Dazed and Confused reference. I don't really say things like "crop of freshman chicks" in real life.
54. Pacific University
The University of the Pacific is the kind of school that attracts a diverse pool of smart, quirky women—so Tiger fans are more likely to be unimpressed by you than the other way around.
These are the ladies you marry—on a moment’s notice, they can transform into a sultry temptress as easily as they can quote The Simpsons.
53. New Mexico University
The New Mexico Lobos are flying high as a three-seed in this year’s tournament.
Which should make up for the fact that they lose a lot of beautiful freshmen to those Arizona schools.
This is the perfect opportunity for Lobo-ladies to show off what they’ve got on the national stage—their fresh faces are a welcome sight.
52. Iona College
The Iona College Gaels (one of two Gaels in the tournament) have a shot to upset second-seeded Ohio State, but even if the team comes up short, they still win.
A beautiful campus located 20 miles north of New York City and girls worthy of the naughty Catholic tradition.
A fairly awesome consolation prize.
51. University of Illinois
The Fighting Illini hope to be this year’s tournament surprise and considering they’re in the same region featuring Indiana and Miami…the team has a very tough task ahead of it.
What isn’t surprising is that a school located in a town named Champaign has a rabid following of sassy, sexy women clad in construction-cone orange.
50. Creighton University
If Omaha's Creighton University can take care of the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Bluejays will likely get a shot at taking down the vaunted Duke Blue Devils.
The growing Jesuit university has only been around since 1978, but its basketball program has emerged as a capable tournament pest.
I’d say they’re also ahead of schedule when it comes to their women; they’ve cornered Nebraska’s sexy Catholic lady market.
49. Temple University
It wasn't that long ago that Temple was being booted out of the Big East for being unforgivably and irrevocably sucky.
Though if there's anything we've learned in recent years, it's that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to make the Big East look stupid.
The Owls have rebounded in a big way athletically in recent years. Which means there are more cute coeds than ever bragging about the school's success on social media.
And from what I've seen—this diverse group of gorgeous girls deserves two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
48. Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is proof that the state of Indiana may have the quietest collection of schools with legendary basketball stories.
The Crusaders have 1998’s “The Shot,” one of the most exciting moments in NCAA Tournament history.
Fortune obviously smiles on Valpo’, which explains why the quintessential underdog landed such adorable fans.
47. Kansas State
Like so many of the "state" universities on this list, Kansas State can't quite compete with Kansas University. But in the battle for Sunflower State supremacy, K-State is making strides.
The Wildcats tend to fall well short of the Jayhawks on the basketball court, but it's much closer race in terms of the student body. See what I did there?
And when it comes to football? It isn't even close. The Wildcats have been the dominant force in recent years and might just even the playing field one of these days.
46. Saint Louis University
In addition to having one of the coolest nicknames/mascots in sports, much less the tournament, the Saint Louis Billikens are coming close to shedding their up-and-coming status in favor another friggin’ contender in blue.
Appropriately, the women who are among their insanely passionate fans have stepped up their game. Granted, Saint Louis has a wealth of pretty faces to choose from in Missouri.
45. North Carolina A&T
The North Carolina A&T Aggies won the play-in game and the right to run right into the buzzsaw known as Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals.
If they win, it would be a monumental upset; lose, then the expected happened.
Either way, the vivacious, sexy girls cheering them on are going to make the whole venture worthwhile.
44. Harvard University
Harvard has obviously got an awful lot going for it. The Crimson is the cream of the Ivy League crop.
It would certainly never be mistaken for a safety school like Brown or Cornell. (I kid!)
Which means it should go without saying that the Harvard honeys have something in common with their high-school GPAs—they're both A+.
43. University of Memphis
The Memphis Tigers are kind of the late ‘80’s UNLV of the new millennium: a mid-major program that lands great talent and is a perennial tournament threat.
The Tigers’ swagger—bolstered by the rock ’n’ roll roots of the city itself—has rubbed off the women who cheer them on.
And there are few things hotter than a confident Tennessee girl who knows how to rock the jukebox.
42. Villanova University
The Villanova Wildcats are one of those sneaky dangerous teams that seems to always be in the tournament and good for an upset or at least a scare each year.
Actually, that’s not a bad way to describe the sexy ‘Phillies’ who are rooting for the school found in the suburbs of the City of Brotherly Love.
It's best not to disturb the locals anyway, so that's a great way to fit in.
41. South Dakota State University
South Dakota is a relatively large state, but doesn't really have a lot going on. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
It's basically the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, a few national parks, and South Dakota State. That's why fans have no problem picking up and traveling nearly 1,000 miles to watch the Jackrabbits play in March.
Being centrally located in Timbuktu does come with one advantage though; it gives South Dakota State a monopoly on all the corn-fed farmers' daughters within a 500-mile radius.
40. University of Cincinnati
For a while it didn't look like there was much hope for Cincinnati, but it seems they've stopped the city's death spiral into the toilet dead in its tracks.
Now it's slowly climbing out of the proverbial gutter thanks in no small part to the resurgence of sports in the city—particularly the University of Cincinnati.
After joining the Big East a few years ago, the Bearcats didn't waste any time milling around the basement—they immediately emerged as a powerhouse in the conference.
And the attractive female population matriculating there are proof that not everything surrounding the Ohio River is toxic.
39. Michigan State
There is no legitimate reason for this sense that Michigan State is this slightly unnoticed pretender that is likely stalking its neighbor in Ann Arbor.
I mean, the school’s major athletic programs have kind of been better in recent years; yet, the taint is unshakable.
Like UNC’s fans, these girls are a lot like their rival’s, but without the pretension.
38. University of Pittsburgh
As a female member of this particular fanbase, I am uniquely qualified to speak on this issue—something that almost never happens!
The thing about Pitt girls is that most of us are seriously lacking that beauty-queen polish that Southern belles like Katherine Webb possess.
Another thing about Pitt girls is that we wouldn't have it any other way! We've got plenty of bits and pieces working for us and we're a heckuva lot more fun to party with.
37. Butler University
Butler University’s sudden emergence as one of the country’s most outstanding teams outside of the “Big Three” conferences could more appropriately be described as a storm.
Two NCAA National Championship appearances by the Bulldogs in the last four years is simply an amazing feat—there must be something in Indiana’s water.
Yes, it has to be the water, because there seems to be no shortage of gorgeous women that find their way to Butler and all of Indiana’s collegiate powerhouses.
36. Georgetown University
The Georgetown Hoyas hail from the historic section by the same name located in the heart of our nation’s capital.
Power, money and influence: a recipe that certainly doesn’t repel beautiful women.
As a DC resident, I can attest to the fact that nine out of 10 girls in Hoya gear are veritable hotties. It's a bit of a drain on my self-esteem.
35. University of California
The University of California doesn't have the flashy locale as some of its neighbors to the south to draw interest from prospective students. But obviously Los Angeles isn't for everyone, because the Cal Bears seem to be doing quite well on all fronts.
They've got a number of top-notch athletic programs—including a swim team that is essentially an assembly line for highly decorated Olympians. And they do pretty well in the ladies department as well.
You may think these cuties are the "granola" version of their LA counterpart, but that just means they are less maintenance and more fun! Class win-win.
34. Gonzaga University
Gonzaga was founded in 1887 and just a shade over 100 years later made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
Apparently, the Zags had enough of taking things slow because in 1999 they advanced all the way to the Elite Eight and have been coming back for more ever since.
That's just the kind of athletic success the Zags needed to siphon away potential students from the Universities of Washington and Oregon. And so far it's worrrrrrrrrking.
33. University of Louisville
There are football universities and there are basketball universities. Louisville is one of only a handful of schools in the NCAA that routinely manages to field competitive teams in both sports.
And the fact that the Cardinals manage to do it in Kentucky? All the more impressive. Clearly the loveliest ladies of Appalachia (and surrounding states) are drawn to all that success.
And who can blame them?
32. Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU is one of the hottest mid-major basketball programs in the country. The man responsible for the team’s rapid ascent is young, handsome head coach Shaka Smart.
The Virginia Commonwealth is already well-stocked with beautiful women from every walk of life, but VCU has Shaka…and he can only draw more pretty faces into the Rams’ tent.
31. Colorado State
The Colorado State Rams deserve our envy—not only did they find their way into the tournament, but their school is found in the beautiful, mountain suburban paradise of Fort Collins.
Rams fans…like the city…are svelte go-getters who love runs along scenic trails as well as sweating it out at the gym. These are not words that describe unattractive people.
30. Florida Gulf Coast University
Hey, Florida is a big, humid state with a lot of people, so it’s a pretty big pie to carve up when it comes to its colleges and universities divvying up the ladies.
FGCU basketball may have caught the nation’s attention as the most mysterious acronym in the bracket, but by law of beach states, they are finely represented by fans who offend no one in a two-piece.
29. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri has an embarrassment of riches.
Not only is it a great university with the biggest friggin’ nuclear reactor found on a college campus in America, the Tigers also moved to the SEC and secured a nine-seed in the tournament.
However, it wasn’t enough for those greedy Mizzou jerks, whose spoils also include a vast collection of All-American babes.
28. Marquette University
Marquette is a small Jesuit university in the middle of downtown Milwaukee—not exactly appealing to a very broad range of prospective students.
But the Golden Eagles do pretty darn well for themselves. They're March Madness regulars and attract top-tier basketball talent like Mr. Dwyane Wade.
As for the ladies? Let's just say easy on the eyes is an understatement.
27. Duke University
To be fan of a basketball program as loathed as Duke’s, it’s almost a prerequisite that you have amazing earning potential as well as a confident allure that makes all your haters secretly jealous.
Women who love the Blue Devils pull off the nearly impossible: being both the hottie you want to take home and to meet your mother.
26. Iowa State
Iowa. What can I say about Iowa? I know it's very cold there in the winter and that it snows a fair amount. I suspect they grow a lot of corn there.
I know that it's so incredibly flat that you could probably climb a ladder on a sunny day and see clear across the state. I know that it's unfairly weighted in terms of influence in presidential elections based on the size of the electorate.
I also know that the Iowa State Cyclones have got a serious in on the whole all-American girl recruiting. Pretty, perky and possessing a pleasing smile and disposition. Suddenly, Iowa doesn't sound that bad.
25. Wichita State
Wichita State is a tenacious team that seems to be a favorite Cinderella pick by the sports media. They’re facing off against perennial tournament underachievers, my Pitt Panthers.
So, take it to the bank—the first round is a lock for the Shockers. If Wichita State needs a little electricity to jar the team out of a slump, there are no better women to have on their side.
Tapping the seemingly bottomless well of just…stunning…under-the-radar Kansas women, the Shockers will move on or go out as one of the prettiest contingents.
24. Davidson College
Davidson College is one of those unassuming academic institutions that most people can't pinpoint on a map (it's located in Greensboro, N.C.), but still manage to pop up on lists of the best colleges in the country.
It's the kind of school that yawns and decides it wants to make the NCAA Tournament...and does. The Wildcats produce Rhodes Scholars and effortlessly recruit smoking hot babes in a state with a shockingly deep well of smart beauties.
We're all doomed.
23. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State’s athletic program has emerged as one of the best in the Big 12, propelled by the success of its football and basketball teams.
OSU is challenging its nemesis, once-dominant Oklahoma, in another important area—the hotness level of their women. Although they're not quite there yet.
22. University of Notre Dame
There is absolutely no fault in questioning whether Notre Dame’s status as the symbol of college athletic pageantry continues to be earned, rather than enabled.
But, there is no doubt that the Fighting Irish have a few aces up their sleeve when it comes to their women.
I’ll lay it out for you: intelligent, accomplished Catholic girls hailing from every state in this fair land of ours. And, shamrock tattoos.
21. Syracuse University
Syracuse is a bit of a mystery to me. It's located in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York and there are nothing but college towns for hundreds of miles in every direction.
It's freezing cold. It's snowy as hell. And the school color is so vehemently orange that it's what they decided to name their mascot.
Yet despite seemingly having everything on earth going against them, Syracuse sports are generally worth watching—almost as worth watching as the beautiful coeds.
20. Southern University
This year Southern University is making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament in over six years.
The Jags have quite a tough road ahead of them facing Gonzaga in the first round—but this is one time where just being nominated is almost enough!
SU may not be the most high-profile school in Baton Rouge, but something tells me these Bayou beauties aren't intimidated by Tigers.
19. Indiana University
The great thing about the American Midwest is what you see is what you get. There’s no strange phenomenon or geographic quirks.
There are four seasons…and you know when one is arriving and the other is leaving.
The same characteristic holds true for the women who love the Indiana Hoosiers: plenty of basketball-fanatic beauties and in between.
Imagine UNLV’s fans of the female persuasion benefit from a subtle perception of danger, as much as any single trait.
It’s Las Vegas—fair or not, you can’t help but wonder if they have a gambling problem, moonlight as showgirl, count cards or are otherwise tangled up in what makes the city awesome to visit, but not so much to live.
17. University of North Carolina
Outside of Raleigh-Durham, the North Carolina Tar Heels are a yearly contender on the court that most schools would gladly trade places with.
However, inside Raleigh-Durham, they’re usually second fiddle to cross-town rival Duke.
UNC’s female fans are basically the same smart cuties that pull for their worst enemy, but feel like they have something to prove—win-win.
16. Ohio State University
I bet the scene that unfolds in the imagination of teenage boys daydreaming about how awesome college is going to be looks a lot like Ohio State’s reality.
Buckeye fans are a rowdy bunch that probably spent a good portion of their college years hungover or scheming against the “stuffy old dean.”
And as the biggest school in Ohio, it brings in the vast majority of the state’s smokin’ hot broads, who seem to never completely shake the party vibe.
15. University of Colorado
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Colorado is the ‘fittest’ state in the country.
This means…on average… Colorado Buffaloes fans look sexy in their team colors and will have no problem bringing a few marked-up arena beers back to your seats before the end of halftime.
14. Bucknell University
Bucknell University is a perfect candidate for assuming the mantle of America’s Favorite Underdog in the tournament.
The Bison have a dangerous team, but far more intriguing is how a small, elite private college in lonely Lewisburg, Pa., managed to create such a bumper crop of women who are hot and smart as hell.
13. University of Minnesota
I really wanted to say something here about Minnesota being the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and that there must be something in all that water. Or something.
Clearly that didn't work out as I had hoped, but I think you feel me on the overarching concept.
It's just that many of the Golden Gophers faithful could pass for Icelandic supermodels, which is kind of strange in Minnesota. I thought the only thing that state attracted was mosquitoes.
12. University of Miami
If you’re a woman and your alma mater and/or favorite team is called Miami—glamorous hub for some of the world’s hottest, sun-kissed models—home, then you have no choice but to be a head-turner (or at least almost look the part).
Miami is known as a melting pot and the Hurricanes are a diverse and exotic bunch. And if you ask me (which I realize you didn't), a welcomed respite from a sea of Midwestern blondes represented here.
11. University of Michigan
I don’t know about you, but it appears that no place in the United States is free from a sizable portion of Michigan fans.
First, it’s a huge school. Second, rooting for the Wolverines is almost universally perceived as cool.
The Maize and Blue seems to be a pipeline for Michigan’s hottest girls as well—snow bunnies who can hold their booze and make venison chili.
10. University of Oregon
Oregon is kind of like California’s edgier, more reserved cousin, so it makes perfect sense that the retina-burning Oregon Ducks feature lady-fans that fit the same description.
These girls may not have the starlet flavor of the Hollywood Hills, but they’re still gorgeous and probably a lot more fun.
9. Kansas University
Prairie girls are perpetually underrated when it comes to innate sex appeal and outright good looks.
Along with a subtle twang in their voice, they often have the kind of bodies that are shaped by farm work and athletics.
The ladies who pull for the Kansas Jayhawks seem to capture the best of that world.
8. North Carolina State
All those Duke and UNC alumni may have their fancy law degrees, apparel sales and ESPN time, but the underrated eight-seed North Carolina State Wolfpack is real.
They have the legacy of Jimmy V. The Wolfpack are why state public universities were invented—you get a solid education, have fun doing it and get to hang with legit girls who are hot completely on their own smokin’ merit.
7. University of Arizona
Based on the headlines, you’d think that the University of Arizona—like the state itself—is a campus filled with unwieldy, armed firebrands who patrol the borders at night and go to class by day.
I’m pleased to report that, much like booberiffic Arizona State, the Wildcats are a magnet for beauties who seem powered by the desert sun.
6. University of Wisconsin
Considering how hyper-competitive everyone, at every level, in the Big 10 is about everything, giving the Wisconsin ladies top marks will probably rankle far more people than it should.
Nobody ever said these rankings were scientific. But I did my due diligence with the research here and firmly concluded that the Badgers boast the most beautiful babes in the conference.
They've got that wholesome Midwestern thing working in conjunction with some serious sex appeal. That's legit stuff.
The existence of Southern California isn’t really a fair deal for the rest of America.
It’s blessed with amazing, sunny weather and beaches complemented by the kind of beautiful people who make tourists and newcomers hate themselves.
UCLA has truly captured lightning in bottle; arrogantly showing off its absurdly hot fans in that weaponized powder-blue that makes them look even better.
4. Ole Miss
Ole Miss boasts an almost legendary status as being home to some of the best-looking ladies in the nation—not to mention one of the most glorious campuses on earth!
The school’s culture of Old South traditionalism certainly has its ugly side, but the formal, cocktail party-esque ambience also brings a lion’s share of meticulously coiffed hotties into the fold.
None of which you even have a prayer of scoring digits from. Sorry.
3. University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma snuck into the tournament, but for most of the last 100 years, the Sooners have been a dominant force in the NCAA.
The school seems to compete with Texas to see which one can horde the most elite student-athletes from the talent-saturated middle swathe of the country.
Along the way, the Sooners have battled the Lone Star State for the affection of the army of charming beauties from the very same communities.
Sooner women are practically an institution in and of themselves.
2. University of Florida
The state of Florida may be most well-known for Disney World and people who eat faces, but that doesn't mean the University of Florida can't stake a claim for some of the hottest fans in the country.
Gainesville offers a sexy refuge from the state’s quirky environment, educating many of Florida’s hottest women; who then graduate and become some of the hottest fans in the country.
1. San Diego State University
Image via: TouchtheBanner.blogspot.com
The fact that the ladies loyal to the San Diego State Aztecs appear to be manufactured from a babe machine shouldn’t be a surprise.
The city of San Diego, with its perpetually cloudless sky, beaches and year-round hug of a climate, is a babe machine.