The Sweet 16 of Shame

Each March, the NCAA Tournament shines its spotlight on a group of men uniquely unfit for national media attention. There are the players, whose most notable achievement is having had high levels of human growth hormone in their bloodstream when they were 12; their coaches, former players who weren't sharp enough to make it as auto insurance salesmen; and don't forget about the pundits, whose résumés as failed coaches somehow qualify them to shout alliterated phrases on national television for an entire month.

So it's not surprising that the NCAA tournament is as notable for embarrassing blunders as it is for displays of heroics. What is surprising is the sheer number of ways the stars of the tournament manage to choke, overreact, under-perform and make general asses of themselves. Below, the 16 most cringe-inducing duke it out for supremacy.

Thomas Hill weeps after Christian Laettner's game winning shot beats Kentucky, 1992

Laettner's turn-around jumper is the most replayed tournament highlight of all time, making Hill's weepy reaction the most replayed instance of a man looking like a total bitch in tournament history.


Kentucky loses to Texas Western, 1966

An all-white Kentucky team, coached by hardcore racist Adolph Rupp, gets Jesse Owens-ed by Texas Western's all-black starting five, and dreamboat head coach Josh Lucas. (Yes, an all-white basketball team losing to a black team was shocking in 1966.)


Jim Valvano's prance, 1983

NC State upsets Houston in the 1983 championship game, sending coach Jim Valvano on a magical sprint around the court, looking like a hysterical Iraqi mother mourning the loss of a child.

Fred Brown passes to James Worthy, 1982

Georgetown's Fred Brown passes the ball directly to North Carolina's James Worthy in the closing seconds of the 1982 final. Brown went on to draw further ire by saying, "What can I say, black people all look the same to me."


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