Kevin Pittsnogle. Ali Farokhmanesh. Harold “The Show” Arceneaux. God Shammgod. Bryce Drew.
These are just some of the names we remember each March for their legendary performances in the NCAA Tournament.
With the nation ready to descend into madness once again, we look back at 30 of the NCAA Tournament’s most unexpected heroes and ask, “Where are they now?”
— Compiled by Jim Weber, a veteran college sports journalist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. Weber has written for CBS Sports Network, NBCSports.com, ESPN the Magazine and the college sports website he founded and sold, LostLettermen.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JimMWeber.
30. Harold Jensen (Villanova)
Villanova’s sixth man came up huge in the 1985 national title game upset of mighty Georgetown with 14 points while shooting 5-for-5 from the floor. Jensen lives in the Philadelphia area and is the executive vice president of a marketing company.
29. Curtis Blair (Richmond)
Blair scored 18 points as Richmond became the first No. 15 seed ever to upset a No. 2 seed by downing Syracuse in 1991. He’s still involved in basketball as an NBA referee.
28. R.J. Hunter (Georgia State)
The coach’s son for No. 14 seed Georgia State hit the game-winning 3-pointer to beat Baylor in 2015, prompting his dad, Ron, to fall out of his coaching chair — leg cast and all. Drafted in the first round of the ensuing NBA draft, R.J. has struggled to stick in the league and currently plays for the NBDL’s Long Island Nets.
27. Mouse McFadden (Cleveland State)
With a name just made for NCAA Tournament lore, McFadden and the 14th-seeded Vikings went to the Sweet 16 and would have made the Elite Eight if it weren’t for a Navy player by the name of David Robinson. McFadden lives in the Cleveland area and works as a nutritional specialist.
26. Kyle O’Quinn (Norfolk State)
In the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, O’Quinn and the Spartans stunned No. 2 seed Missouri in the 2012 tourney. O’Quinn is currently in the NBA but has the sad misfortune of playing for the New York Knicks.
25. Tony Price (Penn)
The Quakers shocked the world in 1979 when 9th-seeded Penn knocked off powerhouse programs in North Carolina, Syracuse and St. John’s to reach the Final Four as Price led the entire tournament in scoring. The father of former UConn point guard A.J. Price, Tony worked in insurance in New York City.
(Photo courtesy of nypost.com)
24. Roosevelt Chapman (Dayton)
Chapman put up a ridiculous 41 points in a second round victory over No. 2 seed Oklahoma as No. 10 seed Dayton made it all the way to the 1984 Elite Eight before being downed by eventual national champion Georgetown. Chapman now works for an executive search firm in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
(Photo courtesy of www.udpride.com)
23. Patrick O’Bryant (Bradley)
The 7-footer helped lead Bradley to the 2006 Sweet 16 by knocking off Kansas and Pitt but turned into an NBA draft bust after being picked ninth overall by the Golden State Warriors in 2006. Now 30, O’Bryant plays in Taiwan.
22. Jermaine Wallace (Northwestern State)
Wallace capped Northwestern State’s epic, 17-point comeback with a 3-pointer in the corner to beat No. 3 seed Iowa in 2006. According to his LinkedIn profile, Wallace lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is attending the University of Phoenix.
21. Trevor Huffman (Kent State)
Along with a teammate named Antonio Gates, Huffman led the 10th-seeded Golden Flashes to the 2002 Elite Eight. He now lives outside of Flint, Michigan, and runs the Trevor Huffman Basketball Academy.
20. T.J. Sorrentine (Vermont)
Sorrentine’s 3-pointer “from the parking lot,” as Gus Johnson said, propelled No. 13 seed Vermont over Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Sorrentine is now working his way up the coaching ladder as the associate head coach at Brown University.
19. Casey Calvary (Gonzaga)
It was Calvary that tipped in the game-winning bucket over Florida in the 1999 Sweet 16, prompting a young Gus Johnson to scream, “The slipper STILL fits!” Calvary is back in Spokane, Washington, where he works for a medical equipment company.
18. Yinka Dare (George Washington)
The African big man with the unique name became a freshman sensation when he led the 12th-seeded Colonials to the 1993 Sweet 16. Expected to be the next Dikembe Mutombo, Dare’s career fizzled in the NBA and he tragically passed away in 2004 at the age of 31 due to a heart attack.
17. Eric Maynor (VCU)
Maynor became a national hero after hitting the winning shot to knock off No. 6 seed Duke in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. After several years bouncing around the NBA, Maynor currently plays professionally in Italy.
16. Keith Smart (Indiana)
Smart hit one of the most clutch shots in NCAA Tournament history by nailing the game-winning jumper of the 1987 national title game with five seconds left. After three different stints as an NBA head coach, Smart is now an assistant for the Memphis Grizzlies.
15. Joey Rodriguez (VCU)
The undersized point guard led VCU past top-seeded Kansas and all the way to the 2011 Final Four. Rodriguez is now in his first season as Rice's video coordinator.
14. Gabe Lewullis (Princeton)
Lewullis scored the winning basket in Princeton’s 1996 first-round upset of defending national champion UCLA. Naturally, the Princeton grad became an orthopedic surgeon and is now the chief of sports medicine for the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
(Photo courtesy of www.realclearsports.com)
13. Lorenzo Charles (NC State)
In arguably the most iconic moment in NCAA Tournament history, Charles dunked Dereck Whittenburg’s errant shot at the buzzer to defeat Houston’s Phi Slama Jama and win the 1983 national title. Sadly, Charles died in 2011 at the age of 47 after getting into a car crash while driving a rental bus.
12. Thomas Walkup (Stephen F. Austin)
Stephen F. Austin’s star player on the 2016 team nearly led the Lumberjacks to the 2016 Sweet 16 while himself looking like Paul Bunyan. One year later, Walkup is trying to make it to the NBA as a member of the NBDL’s Windy City Bulls.
11. Luke Hancock (Louisville)
Hancock didn’t even start for the 2013 Cardinals team that won the national championship, but he stepped up on the biggest stage by scoring a combined 42 points in the Final Four on his way to winning Most Outstanding Player honors. You can still find Hancock in Louisville as a financial advisor.
10. Sherwood Brown (FGCU)
Brown was the star of Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City” squad that became the first and only No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16. Brown, still just 25, is now living and playing in Germany.
9. Fennis Dembo (Wyoming)
For those too young to remember him, yes, his name is Fennis Dembo and not Dennis Fembo. And the uniquely-named Fembo led Wyoming to the 1987 Sweet 16 after outdueling UCLA’s Reggie Miller. He currently lives in San Antonio.
8. Bryce Drew (Valparaiso)
Coached by his dad, Homer, Drew hit the most famous shot in the history of the NCAA Tournament’s first round to knock off fourth-seeded Ole Miss in 1997. After serving as the head coach of his alma mater for five seasons, Drew is now Vanderbilt’s head coach.
7. Bo Kimble (Loyola Marymount)
Playing in honor of his late friend and teammate Hank Gathers, who died during the West Coast Conference tournament, Kimble lead No. 11 seed LMU to the Elite Eight before falling to eventual national champion UNLV. According to his LinkedIn page, Kimble lives in Philadelphia and is the owner of the Forty Four For Life Foundation named in honor of his late friend.
6. Harold Arceneaux (Weber State)
“The Show” put on a performance for the ages by scoring 36 points in an upset of No. 3 seed North Carolina in the 1999 NCAA Tournament. After a lengthy overseas playing career, Arceneaux appears to live outside Salt Lake City.
5. Jai Lewis (George Mason)
The star of George Mason’s 2005 Final Four team, Lewis tried out for an NFL career before playing hoops overseas. Lewis is back stateside and a behavioral specialist outside Baltimore.
4. Omar Samhan (Saint Mary’s)
“The Sandman” became a fan favorite while trash-talking ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and leading the Gaels to the 2010 Sweet 16. Samhan is now playing in Belgium.
3. God Shammgod (Providence)
The point guard with the almighty name led 10th-seeded Providence to the 1997 Elite Eight after downing Duke in the second round. After returning to PC to be an assistant coach in 2012, Shammgod is now the Dallas Mavericks’ assistant of player development.
2. Ali Farokhmanesh (Northern Iowa)
The name Farokhhmanesh will never be forgotten in the state of Kansas after Ali drilled a 3-pointer to seal UNI’s Round of 32 victory over the top-seeded Jayhawks in the 2010 tournament. Farokhmanesh is back in college basketball as Nebraska's director of player development.
1. Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia)
Pittsnogle was a big man with a feathery outside touch who also turned into a verb as seventh-seeded West Virginia “Pittsnogled” opponents on its way to the 2005 Elite Eight. Pittsnogle is now back home in West Virginia as a high school teacher.