Game On, Fame On: College Basketball Celebrity Alumni Bracket

Game On, Fame On: College Basketball Celebrity Alumni Bracket

Everyone’s favorite March holiday, March Madness, aka “Bracketology” has arrived.  Every year at this time, the college basketball world observes the unofficial holiday known as Selection Sunday, ushering in a three-week celebration that will pit 68 teams — and sports fans everywhere — against one another in the annual NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. 

But what if you don’t know a Boilermaker from a Bluejay? No worries; we at DIRECTV crafted our own bracket this year: Famous Alums from 16 of the tournament’s top teams. This clash features actors, authors and astronauts; superfans, CEOs and the ultimate “Fixer Uppers.” So grab a pen and get in on the action now with DIRECTV’s Ultimate Alumni showdown.


Houston – Dennis Quaid

In his movies, Quaid has played a quarterback, running back, cyclist, and a pitcher. He added pickup basketball in the 2004 rom-com In Good Company.

Purdue – Neil Armstrong

Purdue commemorated the 50th anniversary of Armstrong’s historic moonwalk with a day-long 
celebration on July 20, 2019

Tennessee – Kurt Vonnegut (Author)

Attending UT in 1944 as part of an Army training program, Vonnegut left to serve in Europe, experiences that inspired “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Arizona – Savannah Guthrie

Co-host of The Today Show, Guthrie grew up not far from the UA campus. “I’m just a regular 
girl from Tucson,” she has said. “I’m as shocked as anyone that I get to wake up every day and be part of this show.”

Iowa State – George Washington Carver

One of the most influential scientists of the 20th century, Carver was the school’s only black student when he enrolled in 1891.

North Carolina – Michael Jordan

Jordan first exploded into the national consciousness during his freshman year at Carolina, hitting the NCAA championship-game winner against Georgetown in 1982.

Creighton – Bob Gibson

One of the most dominant pitchers in history, Gibson was also a star basketball player: He even spent one season with the Harlem

Duke – Tim Cook

Apple’s CEO earned his MBA from Duke in 1988; in his 2018 commencement speech he said, “changing the world starts with following a vision, not a path.”

Marquette – Chris Farley

Following his death in 1997, Marquette established the Christopher Crosby Farley Scholarship, awarded annually to seniors best demonstrating creativity and positive use of humor

Baylor – Joanna and Chip Gaines

The Gaines’ love for their Waco, Tex., hometown was evident in every episode of Fixer Upper. Joanna’s start on TV came in ads for her father’s local tire shop.

Illinois – Suze Orman

The financial guru supports UI today through the Suze Orman Award, recognizing graduates 
with excellent grades who have gone above and beyond to help their families and others.

Auburn – Octavia Spencer

Upon winning an Academy Award in 2012, Spencer said in her acceptance speech, “I would like to 
thank … my family in Alabama, the state of Alabama.”

Kansas – Paul Rudd

Alongside fellow Sunflower State-natives Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis, Rudd launched the Big Slick in 2010, an annual fundraiser for Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy hospital.

Kentucky – Ashley Judd

The Wildcats superfan is perhaps the preeminent celebrity supporter of any college team. 
“I’m just a regular fan,” the UK grad has insisted. “I just happen to be a basketball nut.” 

Alabama – Harper Lee

Perhaps surprising fans of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee served as the editor of UA’s humor 
magazine, Rammer-Jammer, during her time in Tuscaloosa.

Uconn – Meg Ryan

Ryan’s breakthrough came during her time in college, when she landed a role on soap opera As the World Turns in 1982.

Did our alums bracket leave you craving the madness on the court? If so, you’re in luck! Get into the game on DIRECTV.