Kentucky's Ashley Judd and 20 Dedicated Celebrity Fans in College Basketball

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IIDecember 30, 2010

Kentucky's Ashley Judd and 20 Dedicated Celebrity Fans in College Basketball

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    Being a celebrity has perks.

    Number one, season tickets to your alma mater or favorite college team's home games are affordable. Number two, the majority of people there, while they know who you are, are concerned with the only really important thing and that is that you are rooting for the right team. And, finally, there is always some bonus face time available for you. Ask Ashley Judd.

    Here is a look at some contenders (and maybe a pretender or two) for the most dedicated celebrity college basketball fans. Many of these have school allegiances and tend to root for all teams in all sports but most are truly fans of the college basketball game.

Bill Cosby

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    What's this? Cosby wearing a Hawks shirt? (Yes, this is a dated photo.) This in spite of his loyalty to Philly Five rival Temple.

    Bill Cosby was a very good athlete in his time and continues to follow all sports including the college hoops.

Matthew McConaughey

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    Matthew McConaughey makes no secret about his passion for the Texas Longhorns, both on the gridiron and the hardwood.

    Despite something much better to look at immediately to his right, McConaughey is showing the intensity he usually brings to college games. Frank Martin would be proud.

Tom Arnold

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    Okay, so Tom Arnold doesn't have that Academy Award (Yet!) but he has somehow made a name for himself in showbiz.

    Born in Ottumwa, Iowa (home of Radar O'Reilly), Arnold is a graduate of Iowa University.

    His love for the Hawkeyes, even in some troubling times, is evident.

Nick Lachey

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    Lachey loves everything that is Bearcat and is often seen courtside, hands clasped, wincing. Maybe not this year though, as Cincinnati is off to a 13-0 start. 

    Despite being born in Harlan, Kentucky (gasp), and attending Miami of Ohio, Lachey's allegiance to another Ohio school is solid.

John Mellencamp

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    A little ditty about the man. He regularly attends Indiana Hoosier football and basketball games. The indoor practice and training facility at Indiana is, in fact, named the Mellencamp Pavillion.

    This guy really does care about the Midwest.

David Letterman

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    One of the few known people, celebrity or otherwise, who continues to cheer for Ball State in every sport. Hey, the women's basketball team isn't bad.

John Edwards

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    When he was allowed out,  Democratic vice presidential nominee (2004) John Edwards would root for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

    He served a six-year term as Senator of North Carolina before his nomination. Rumour has it he used his position to score tickets to Tar Heel games. A politician would do this? No way.

Snoop Dogg

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    Everything that's USC is cool for Snoop Dogg.

    Not only does he enjoy the sports (basketball and football) as a fan, he routinely organizes charity games to raise funds for organizations such as the Save a Life Foundation at his former high school.

Michael Wilbon

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    The only saving grace of PTI, Wilbon embraces Northwestern University athletics and generally supports all Chicago-area teams.

    His job as a sports analyst doesn't diminish his passion for the games themselves.

Aubrey Graham (aka Drake)

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    The former actor, current rapper and sometimes singer is a big Kentucky Wildcats fan.

    He made his first appearance at Big Blue Madness last season at Rupp and was hooked. He says he's very close with Coach Cal. The Coach has a very diverse and interesting entourage.

John Daly

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    You would bet (and John would too I'm sure) that Daly was a Tennessee fan based solely on his attire.

    However, he is apparently another of Calipari's buds, forging a friendship when Cal was in Memphis when Daly was living there. Which, by association, makes him a Kentucky fan.

    I'm not sure if he is a fan of the game or a fan of the man.

Condoleezza Rice

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    It's hard to pinpoint the Secretary of State's true loyalty, at least in college hoops.

    A graduate of Denver University, she received her master's degree at Notre Dame before moving on to Stanford as first an assistant and then an associate professor of political science.

    Though seen here with a Hoyas shirt, rumour has it that Stanford is the one she wears on her sleeve.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Playing for the New York Yankees, A-Rod understands what expectations are all about, so it is not surprising his college hoops favorite is Duke.

    Apparently, this started shortly after he played minor league baseball with Trajan Langdon, who later became a standout with the Blue Devils.

Bill Murray

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    Bill Murray has followed a number of teams very closely as a college basketball fan.

    While he is said to be a big Quinnipiac fan, Murray has followed Arizona and now Wagner in the past two seasons. 

    The reason? His son Luke was a graduate assistant with the Wildcats and is now a full assistant at Wagner.

Vince Gill

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    The Belmont Bruins biggest fan, country star Vince Gill, can be seen regularly behind coach Rick Byrd's bench, howling at referees and cheering for his team.

    He and Byrd met a while back and are golfing buddies as well.

Denzel Washington

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    Washington is not only a college hoops' fan, he is a former player, having played under P.J. Carlesimo at Fordham for one season.

    He currently follows the game vicariously, through son Malcolm, who plays for the University of Pennsylvania.

Ashton Kutcher

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    Ashton Kutcher is a noted Iowa Hawkeye fan. 

    He and Demi Moore came under some scrutiny for talking to potential recruits at a football game. At this point in time, coach Fran McCaffery is thinking, "whatever works."

Barack Obama

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    Holding up yet another perfect bracket from the Oval Office pool, Barack Obama proudly tells Coach K that he knew it all along.

    Seriously, though, the President is a true fan and has connections in the college game as well. Brother-in-law Craig Robinson coaches the Oregon State Beavers.

Bill Clinton

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    This former President has long been a college basketball fan. 

    The Syracuse Orange are Bill Clinton's team, and he often tries (in vain most often) to catch games, particularly during the Big East tournament.

Ashley Judd

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    Without question, Ashley Judd has the highest profile during Kentucky games of any "celebrity."

    She has cooked for the team, covered the NCAA tournament for a local Kentucky paper and has been seen at virtually every big game at Rupp Arena.

    Judd attended UK from 1986-1990 but left one credit shy of graduating. She did however, finish her degree in 2007.