The most famous alumni from the Final Four schools
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The most famous alumni from the Final Four schools

There are four teams left in the NCAA tournament, which means we have four fan bases who can taste a national championship. While many fans are like you and me, each school has its fair share of famous alumni who take pride in their alma mater's success. With four schools that have combined for just one championship in 45 years, this is an exciting time for these alums. Some are known for their own prowess on the field of play, while others are known for their place in pop culture or their successes in various fields.

Here are some of the famous alumni from the 2021 Final Four schools.

 
1 of 24

Carol Burnett, UCLA

Carol Burnett, UCLA
Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images

Carol Burnett initially wanted to study journalism at UCLA but switched to theater arts in order to be a playwright. She had to perform in front of an audience, which gave her the acting bug and led to a distinguished career in television and film. Her most notable work was in Annie, The Garry Moore Show, Mad About You, and, of course, The Carol Burnett Show.

 
2 of 24

Johnnie Cochran, UCLA

Johnnie Cochran, UCLA
Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images

Johnnie Cochran is most notable for being part of the defense team for O.J. Simpson's murder trial in 1995. He has also represented Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Tookie Williams, and Reginald Denny. Cochran earned his B.A. in business economics before getting his Juris Doctor at Loyola Marymount. 

 
3 of 24

Francis Ford Coppola, UCLA

Francis Ford Coppola, UCLA
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Coppola attended UCLA's film school and would go on to be one of the greatest directors of all time. He directed The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, and The Outsiders while also writing Patton and The Great Gatsby.

 
4 of 24

Bing Crosby, Gonzaga

Bing Crosby, Gonzaga
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The legendary crooner spent three years at Gonzaga, though he didn't earn a degree. He would pay baseball for the Zags during his freshman year and was given an honorary doctorate in 1937. The "White Christmas" singer was one of the biggest stars in music, films, and stage in the early days of Hollywood. 

 
5 of 24

Dan Cummins, Gonzaga

Dan Cummins, Gonzaga
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Cummins is a comedian and podcast host who earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Gonzaga University in 1999. His podcast, Timesuck, touches on a wide array of topics.

 
6 of 24

Loretta Devine, Houston

Loretta Devine, Houston
Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Devine, it seems, has been in everything. After earning her B.A. in Speech and Drama at the University of Houston, she's been in scores of movies and television shows ... most notably Boston Public, Waiting to Exhale, Grey's Anatomy, The Preacher's Wife, Crash, A Different World, The PJs, and Doc McStuffins

 
7 of 24

Jeff Dunham, Baylor

Jeff Dunham, Baylor
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Dunham, who graduated from Baylor in 1986, is a well-known comedian and ventriloquist. His dummies Walter, Peanut, and Jose Jalapeno on a Stick are near ubiquitous due to his many comedy specials and sets on shows like Late Show With David Letterman and The Tonight Show

 
8 of 24

Ray Flaherty, Gonzaga

Ray Flaherty, Gonzaga
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Flaherty would play football at Gonzaga University in the early 1920s before embarking on a Hall of Fame professional career. He became the first NFL player to have his number retired (No. 1, by the Giants) and he won three championships -- one as a player with the Giants and two as head coach of the Redskins. He also coached the Gonzaga basketball team for the 1930-1931 season. 

 
9 of 24

Tom Foley, Gonzaga

Tom Foley, Gonzaga
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Foley was the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995 and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2001. He was born and raised in Spokane, attended Gonzaga University for three years, and would later teach at the university's school of law in the late 1950s. 

 
10 of 24

Mariska Hargitay, UCLA

Mariska Hargitay, UCLA
Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Mariska Hargitay was a student at UCLA's School and Theater, Film, and Television and was in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She is best known for her role as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU on NBC. 

 
11 of 24

Michael Johnson, Baylor

Michael Johnson, Baylor
Mike Powell/Getty Images

Johnson ran track for Baylor from 1987 to 1990, where he won five NCAA championships. He would go on to be one of the great track stars ever, winning four Olympic gold medals and becoming the only male sprinter to win the 200m and 400m in the same Games. 

 
12 of 24

Angela Kinsey, Baylor

Angela Kinsey, Baylor
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Kinsey is best known for her role as accountant Angela in The Office. Kinsey studied English at Baylor, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. 

 
13 of 24

Carl Lewis, Houston

Carl Lewis, Houston
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis is one of the greatest track and field stars in history. He won nine Olympic gold medals over four Games, including four in the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. He is a six-time NCAA Champion as a member of the University of Houston track team. He won for the indoor and outdoor long jumps in 1980 and 1981 and for the 60-yards and 100-meter in 1981. Lewis currently is an assistant coach for Houston.

 
14 of 24

Jim Nantz, Houston

Jim Nantz, Houston
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The voice of the Final Four, Jim Nantz, majored in broadcasting at the University of Houston in late 1970s. Nantz, who is the lead broadcaster for CBS' coverage on the NCAA tournament, NFL, and golf, played for the Cougars' golf team and was teammates with Fred Couples and Blaine McCallister. During Nantz's assignment of calling the Baylor-Arkansas regional final game, he was noticeably giddy at Houston's inclusion in the Final Four.

 
15 of 24

Jim Parsons, Houston

Jim Parsons, Houston
Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

Jim Parsons is best known for his role of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, where he won Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014. He earned a B.A. in theater from the University of Houston in the early 1990s. 

 
16 of 24

Rand Paul, Baylor

Rand Paul, Baylor
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Paul was a member of the swim team and was a contributor to the student newspaper while at Baylor. He would leave Baylor after three years to attend Duke University's School of Medicine, where he would study ophthalmology. He is currently a Senator from Kentucky. 

 
17 of 24

Carl Pohlad, Gonzaga

Carl Pohlad, Gonzaga
Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Pohlad was the longtime owner of the Minnesota Twins, where he watched his franchise win their only two World Series championships, in 1987 and 1991. While he owned the team during their greatest successes, he twice nearly ended the organization's ties to Minnesota. He attempted to sell the team to an investor that wanted to move the team to North Carolina, and then he offered to sell the team to MLB for contraction. Bing Crosby actually recruited Pohlad to play football at Gonzaga, which he did before serving in World War II.

 
18 of 24

Ann Richards, Baylor

Ann Richards, Baylor
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Ann Richards was the governor of Texas from 1991 to 1995, becoming just the second woman to hold that office. Richards was on the debate team while earning her degree from Baylor and became a teacher shortly after graduating. 

 
19 of 24

Jackie Robinson, UCLA

Jackie Robinson, UCLA
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Robinson lettered in baseball, basketball, football, and track while at UCLA. He would win the NCAA championship in the long jump in 1940, and that same year he led the nation in punt return average. Despite baseball being his poorest sport at UCLA, he would become a Hall of Fame player as he broke baseball's color barrier. 

 
20 of 24

John Stockton, Gonzaga

John Stockton, Gonzaga
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The most famous basketball player in Gonzaga history is John Stockton. Stockton was the point guard for the Bulldogs from 1980-1984, winning the West Coast Conference Player of the Year award in 1984. In his Hall of Fame NBA career, he is the all-time leader in assists and played on the legendary "Dream Team" in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 

 
21 of 24

Jack Valenti, Houston

Jack Valenti, Houston
Bobby Bank/WireImage/Getty Images

Valenti, who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston in 1946, was a political advisor during the Kennedy and especially the Johnson administrations before becoming the president of the Motion Picture Association of America for 38 years. Valenti is in the famous photo of Lyndon Johnson's swearing-in aboard Air Force One after Kennedy's assassination. As president of the MPAA, he created and evolved the movie ratings system that we still use today. 

 
22 of 24

Elizabeth Warren, Houston

Elizabeth Warren, Houston
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Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Houston in 1970. She would later become an associate dean at the university's law center. In 2020, she was a candidate for the Democratic Party's nominee for President.

 
23 of 24

John Williams, UCLA

John Williams, UCLA
Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Williams, a UCLA alumn, is best known for composing the film scores for the Star Wars films, Jaws, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Indiana Jones films, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, and E.T. He has won 25 Grammys, 5 Oscars, and 4 Golden Globes. Only Walt Disney has been nominated for more Academy Awards than Williams. 

 
24 of 24

Trey Wingo, Baylor

Trey Wingo, Baylor
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Wingo is best known for his 23 years of work with ESPN as a host of SportsCenter, NFL Live, the NFL Draft, and Golic and Wingo. He graduated from Baylor with a degree in communications in 1985. His father, also a Baylor alum, was a founding editor for People magazine.

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