Darren Rovell’s 2022 NCAA Tournament Tidbits & Useless Information for March Madness
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Izzo, Michigan State
“March Madness” bombards us with so much information, so as the King of Useless Information That You Didn’t Know You Needed To Know, I get excited for the challenge.
So without further ado, here’s all the bracket information, you can find nowhere else.
- The No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga is playing the little guy No. 16 Georgia State. But who’s really the little guy? Gonzaga has 8,000 students. Georgia State? 52,000!
- In the mismatch of best basketball player who is coaching, we have No. 8 Memphis and Penny Hardaway against No. 9 Boise State’s Leon Rice. Hardaway had a great career in the NBA. Rice didn’t even play college basketball.
- Speaking of tournament coaches as great basketball players, there’s No. 15 Saint Peter’s Shaheen Holloway, who went to Seton Hall over Duke and Cal. In 1995, Holloway was 10th-best high school senior in the nation, according to the recruiting services. No. 1? Kobe. No. 4? Jermaine O’Neal. No. 6? Mike Bibby. No 7? Mateen Cleaves.
- Saint Peter’s is taking on No. 2 Kentucky. Wildcats, collectively at least, are given the best chance to win of any mascot. Three of the top eight seeds are Wildcats – No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 Villanova and No. 2 Kentucky.
- Speaking of the Kentucky-Saint Peter’s matchup, it’s one of the biggest mismatches in revenue. Last year, Kentucky reported $29.3 million in revenue off its basketball program. Saint Peter’s? $1.5 million.
- No. 14 Montana State returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. And while we have several coaches coaching their alma mater, Danny Sprinkle has the honor of being on the last team that made it to the tournament for the university. Sprinkle, as a freshman, scored 7 points in Montana State’s 88-55 loss to John Wallace and Syracuse in 1996.
- Wanna feel old? The son of Jameer Nelson, who famously led St. Joe’s to the Elite Eight in 2004, is playing in this year’s tournament. Jameer Nelson Jr. transferred from George Washington to Delaware, who is playing Villanova in the Round of 64. The two schools are 43 miles from each other, the closest of any early round matchup.
- In the matchup of the closest colors, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 14 Colgate battle. Badger Red is Pantone 200C. Colgate maroon is Pantone 202C.
- Two of the three oldest coaches battle in a first-round matchup as No. 7 Michigan State takes on No. 10 Davidson. Tom Izzo is 67 and Bob McKillop is 71. Only Duke’s Coach K, at 75, is older.
- The largest difference in pay between two coaches is No. 2 Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and No. 15 Cal State Fullerton’s Dedrique Taylor. Coach K gets paid approximately $10 million. Taylor gets $250,000 and…100% of the money from the team’s two highest guarantee games, minus expenses of course. Taylor’s bonus for making the tournament is only $21,000.
- In one of the biggest mismatches of tuition and room and board, No. 3 Purdue, with a 2021-22 cost of $38,824, takes on No. 14 Yale, with a cost of $77,750.
- One of the biggest differences in season ticket costs is No. 2 Auburn and No. 15 Jacksonville State, who play each other in the Round of 64. A courtside seat this season at Auburn cost $4,225. Jacksonville State? $400. Yes, for all games.
- 40: Number of teams that will be wearing Nike apparel and shoes. Under Armour is second with 15 and Adidas has 13.
And now, for what has been a tradition for me since I first started doing it with my college paper in 1997:
My NCAA Tournament All-Name Team
Montana State forward Great Osobor
Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper
Ohio State forward Justice Sueing
Loyola Chicago forward Saint Thomas
New Mexico State guard Sir’Jabari Rice
Boise State guard Kobe Young
UConn forward Akok Akok
Longwood forward Prosper Obidebube
Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler
South Dakota State guard Zeke Mayo
Duke guard Paolo Banchero
Cal State Fullerton guard Tory San Antonio
Baylor guard Kijana Love
Longwood guard Ga’Khari Lacount
Villanova forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree
Delaware forward O.D. Ogunbo
Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot
Creighton forward Modestas Kancleris
Ohio State guard Harrison Hoofkin
Wisconsin guard Chucky Hepburn