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Predicting the Sweet 16 by haircut: Superfriends advance

Analyzing horrible haircuts: as good a method as any of predicting the Sweet Sixteen's outcomes


I know next to nothing about college basketball save this: even on the dismal curve of coaching fashion, the coaches of the indoor sport have the weirdest hair in the profession. Maybe it's long days, and maybe it's a Vitamin D deficiency, and maybe it's some quirk of the NCAA Men's coaching guild that no one, absolutely no one, will make other coaches look bad by paying more than thirty dollars for a haircut.

At any rate, it's as good a way to predict the outcomes of the Sweet Sixteen's opening games as any, and your disastrous bracket is testament to that.

Tom Crean: "The Superfriends"


There is a famous elementary school riddle that appeared once in an Encyclopedia Brown story. There are only two barbers in town. One sports a brilliant headful of carefully trimmed, immaculately composed hair. The other barber appears to have mange. The question for the reader is: which barber do you go to?

The answer is "the barber with the bad hair, because he cut the other barber's very nice hair," but do not tell Tom Crean that because he goes to the other barber every single time. Tom Crean's hair is a mistake so bad it makes me trust him more as a coach, but less as a person, since only someone so myopically devoted to their craft could own a haircut so consistently insane.


That same hairstyle--a.k.a. "The SuperFriends"--has been worn by the following people throughout history.

That is it. Tom Crean's hair is such a ghastly accident of hair and malice that only ten, perhaps twelve people in history have even worn it, since Tom Crean's hair has been awful wherever it has appeared throughout said history. It is the hair of a man you would trust with your life on a basketball court. It is also the hair of a man who might not notice the smell of natural gas leaking in his home because "he just thought the wife was cooking something weird."


Jim Boeheim ("The Ivory Parenthesis")


Boeheim's hair is unspectacular in basketball hair terms since he's bald and merely resembles someone who's spent fifty or sixty years indoors hiding from the life-giving rays of the sun, or in other words "a college basketball coach." Do basketball coaches get the rickets? This is a legitimate question, since they probably could.

ADVANCING: Tom Crean, because what the hell can stop THAT?

Bill Self: "A toupee"


I did not know if Bill Self wore a toupee or not, so I did some research.


Fortunately, the internet as always has answers:


So Bill Self wears a toupee. It's on the internet. This debate is over.


John Beilein: "The Strawberry Veil"


John Beilein's hair is a threadbare pair of pants so near and dear to the wearer they can't let a few rips and threadbare patches spoil a great relationship. This is exactly the pattern of Beilein's hair in 1990, and he'll be damned if a little age and care has blown a few shingles off the roof. This should also answer the question of "Does Jim Beilein own underwear with holes in it?" Yes, yes he does, because a little ventilation never hurt anyone, and because they don't make jockeys like they used to, dangit.

ADVANCING: Beilein, since this is a contest about hair, and Bill Self wears a toupee.

Billy Donovan: "The Romanian Stole"Gyi0063904979_medium

All former Rick Pitino assistants won their jobs because of two things: talent and performance in wind-tunnel testing. Bill Donovan basically has the hair of a Romanian mink, and by mink we mean "hedgehog" since most Romanian animals are just variations of hedgehogs. Sprinkle his spiny bristles over a boiling pot of milk at the apex of a full moon, and your crops will prosper within a fortnight's time. It is also bulletproof.


Andy Enfield: "The Peacemaker"


Andy Enfield of Florida Gulf Coast University is the ideal fit for the school located in Fort Myers for many reasons: he is young, he has no qualms about recruiting challenges, and uses the advantages he has while mitigating the weaknesses of FGCU's unique strategic position in the state He also understands the most important thing about Florida, which is that the ladies whose sons he recruits still find "George Clooney from 1997" to be the sexiest man ever born.

That is why Andy Enfield, with the money he made from being a person of some vague importance in a health care startup, bought that very head of hair and had it grafted to his skull after taking the job. He's just that committed to winning.

ADVANCING: Donovan, because bulletproof is the ultimate in sexy.

Buzz Williams: "The Dancing Chiklis"


Buzz Williams has flair in a lot of other departments, but not hair. It's the Chiklis, most likely done in the locker room with the guard off while watching tape in a track suit. Buzz Williams has played Serbian gangsters in some of our finest action films and you are just now realizing how true this is.


Jim Larranaga: "The Biden"


Jim Larranaga appears to be all business, but wait--what--did I spy a bit of a spoiler on that otherwise sedate family sedan of a haircut? You can't quite see it in this photo, but in others you can definitely see some Joe Biden-esque mudflaps peeking out from behind the ears. There is business to Jim Larranaga, but there is also a bit of party, and that's how you end up coaching in Miami and driving a fine Cadillac with leather interiors and George Benson playing 24/7 for just that special lady, ladies. (His Cadillac is playing "Gimme The Night." There is no other option.)

ADVANCING: Larranaga. (Ladies.)

Rick Pitino:


Rick Pitino's hair is threaded mother-of-pearl. He cannot donate it to Locks of Love, since only his impossibly strong neck is capable of holding up its immense weight. A spoonful of it dropped on the sun would slash through the center of our galaxy in a second, turning our star into an immense flaming donut for an instant before reorganizing itself around the heaviest substance in the universe. It may still be naturally black due to its gravity absorbing all light pointed at it.


Dana Altman: "The pre-Beilein"


Just Beilein's hair ten years earlier in the progression to baldness.

ADVANCING: Pitino, thanks to sheer density.

Tom Izzo: "The Rehab Dad"


Tom Izzo's got the hair of a dad who just got out of rehab. He's got a lot on his plate--making it up to the family, paying off a few long-neglected bills, getting in touch with his feelings--so it's right back with the fingers, maybe a little gel, and then just back out there to take one day at a time. Rehab Dad is trying so hard, but he's not about to get twisted over a little thing like hair. Rehab Dad did make this ashtray for you while he was in the treatment center, though.

[hands you a terrible ashtray]

It's a sign of love. You don't smoke? Oh my god, Rehab Dad has so many things to do besides his hair, man.


Mike Krzyzewski: "The naturally pitch black"


Coach K's hair is a neat, orderly bike helmet of NATURALLY DARK HAIR that has in no way been touched by ARTIFICIAL COLORING OF ANY SORT. Artificial coloring would be the cosmetic equivalent of FLOPPING IN THE LANE and there is no way a Duke man would do either. Strictly natural in both instances.

ADVANCING: Izzo, because Rehab Dad's all about effort.

Gregg Marshall: "The Tunguska Crater"


His hairline looks like a section of the blast crater at the Tunguska blast, a scene of great violence and force that no one has ever really explained. If that's not Wichita State with a shot to advance to the Final Four I don't know what is, so this all works really well, Gregggggg with all the superfluous Gs.


John Giannini: "The Discount Clooney '04"


The older version of the Clooney, since evidently LaSalle does a bit of recruiting of Florida housewives, too.

ADVANCING: Gregg Marshall, since he's already survived so much including his own haircut.

Sean Miller: "The Emerald Isle"


When viewed from above it's clear Miller has Ireland for a haircut: a large body, and then a smaller section to the north separated by a border. Alternate titles: Continental Drift, The Big Mitosis, and the Rhinoceros.


Thad Matta: "Le Miniature"


My favorite thing about Thad Matta's hair is that it's like a normal person's hair that has gradually shrunk over time, perhaps after repeated dryings on high heat.

ADVANCING: Matta, because even after Mom ruined it in the wash his wiglet still endures.