Teams have three or four days to prepare for their first-round opponent in the NCAA Tournament. They analyze and dissect players, schemes, tendencies, stats and more in creating a gameplan. But as we seen every year with loads of upsets, clearly it doesn't work sometimes. Maybe they should be looking at more cosmetic items, such as player name.
No, not really, but amidst all the baseless predictions, aggressive claims and other tourney chatter, let's lighten the mood. Here is the 2017 NCAA Tournament All-Name Team, comprised of players with the best names of the more than 750 players on tourney rosters.
A.J. Cheeseman didn't earn an All-Name starting spot just because he's the Cheese Man — but for the record, he would have. He earned it for both his last name and given first name: Amen Jenkins Cheeseman. Bravo to you, William Cheeseman and Trina Alexander.
F: Konstantinos Mitoglou – Wake Forest
Konstantinos Mitoglou isn't from Greece. Kidding, of course he is. The 6-foot-10, 255-pound junior hails from Thessaloniki, where he was gifted this Greek God-like name.
G: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman – Michigan
A 23-letter name itself would warrant All-Name consideration. But the real beauty is his having Muhammad-Ali as your first name. Brendan Quinn of MLive wrote a fantastic article on the origin of his name.
Giddy Potts burst onto the national scene as a sophomore last year, shooting 51 percent from deep and leading the Blue Raiders past 2-seed Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Not only can the Athens, Ala., native hit from anywhere on the court, he also has a curiously interesting name.
Thornwell, the SEC Player of the Year, should get a shot in the NBA. If not, a parade of international teams will be clamoring to sign the talented shooting guard. But following his basketball career, we can only assume he'll become a distinguished professor of history, war hero, and/or ship captain.
C: Udoka Azubuike – Kansas
KU's freshman center was lost for the season in December after injuring his wrist in practice, therefore he provides only cheerleading value off the bench for the Jayhawks. On the All-Name Team, he provides power, intangibles, and complexity with one of the best names in the country, even if he can't play.
F: Mo Alie-Cox – VCU
Mo Alie-Cox managed to pack nine letters into a hyphenated name. For that, we applaud him.
F: Vittorio Reynoso-Avila – Princeton
Alie-Cox's All-Name Team bench mate from Princeton, however, routinely needs more space on questionnaires and others documents. With 20 letters, Princeton's freshman forward falls short of Michigan's Abdur-Rahkman but he still has one of the longest and best names in college basketball.
G: Scoochie Smith – Dayton
Smith's real name is Dayshon Smith (ironic that DAYshon landed at DAYton?), but because he's listed as Scoochie on the Flyers' official roster, he earned a spot. Headline writers across America deserve a Scoochie-related opportunity this March.
G: Donte DiVincenzo – Villanova
After losing Ryan Arcidiacono, it's only right for Donte DiVincenzo to step into Villanova's spotlight. The Delaware native is averaging 8.3 points in 25 minutes for the defending national champs.