Where are they now? March Madness names from the past
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Where are they now? March Madness names from the past

NCAA Tournament history is filled with great performances that for a few weeks in March captivate us and place players into the national spotlight. Yet for every Danny Manning, Steve Nash, or Steph Curry who go on to big things at the next level, there are guys whose stars shined brightest during March Madness.

We're talking guys who hit the big shot to stun a heavyweight and keep Cinderella alive or players who had huge games that carried teams to improbable runs in the Big Dance. These are guys who came from nowhere to be household names during the madness, plus guys who led their teams to championships but whom you haven't heard from in a while.

Let's look back at some of the most memorable NCAA Tournament stars and catch up with what they are doing now.

 
1 of 25

Armon Bassett, Ohio University

Armon Bassett, Ohio University
Jim Rogash-Getty Images

Bassett led his Bobcats to an improbable MAC championship as a nine seed in the MAC Tournament and then a 2010 upset of Georgetown. Since then, his life has hit some hard times. He was arrested in 2016 for possession and dealing marijuana, gun charges, domestic violence, and other charges on several occasions.

 
2 of 25

Curtis Blair, Richmond

Curtis Blair, Richmond
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Blair led the Richmond Spiders in scoring (and hit some clutch free throws) the night the No. 15 seed upset No. 2 Syracuse in 1991. After a career playing around the world, he became a referee for high school and college games. Since 2008, he has been a ref in the NBA. 

 
3 of 25

Lorenzo Charles, NC State

Lorenzo Charles, NC State
NCAA Photos-Getty Images

It was Lorenzo Charles who made the championship-winning play in 1983 for the Wolfpack, leaving coach Jim Valvano running around looking for someone to hug. Charles passed away in 2011 when a bus he was driving crashed on I-40 near Raleigh, N.C. He is buried just 20 spaces away from his former coach, Valvano. Charles was 47 years old.

 
4 of 25

Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State

Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Cleaves memorably led the "Flintstones" Spartans to the 2000 NCAA championship. His NBA career was more about his locker room presence than his play. After just 167 games, his NBA career was done. He currently is a studio analyst for the Pistons.

 
5 of 25

Juan Dixon, Maryland

Juan Dixon, Maryland
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Dixon was an All-American and Most Outstanding Player during Maryland's 2002 national championship season. He went on to an eight-year NBA career, most notably with the Wizards and Blazers. After a brief coaching stint with Maryland and in women's basketball, Dixon is currently the head coach of Coppin State where the Eagles have struggled in his four seasons at the helm.

 
6 of 25

Bryce Drew, Valparaiso

Bryce Drew, Valparaiso
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Drew is most remembered for hitting "the shot" against Ole Miss in the 1998 NCAA Tournament, one of the most famous buzzer-beaters in tourney history. After a five-year stint replacing his father, Homer, as the head coach at Valparaiso, he went on to become the head basketball coach at Vanderbilt University for three years. He is currently the head coach at Grand Canyon University.

 
7 of 25

Tyus Edney, UCLA

Tyus Edney, UCLA
Rocky Widner-Getty Images

Edney's layup against Missouri in 1995 vaulted UCLA to its last national championship. After a short NBA career, he became a popular player in Europe for a decade. Edney returned to Westwood as an assistant coach at UCLA until 2019.

 
8 of 25

Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa

Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa
Ronald Martinez-Getty Images

We all remember Farokhmanesh's shot that toppled No. 1 overall seed Kansas in 2010 as well as the big shot he hit against UNLV a round earlier. He became director of player relations and development for Nebraska's basketball program before taking an assistant coaching job at Drake and his current home, Colorado State.

 
9 of 25

Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It's impossible to forget Jimmer Fredette's scoring outbursts during the 2011 NCAA Tournament in which he helped lead BYU to the Sweet 16. That led to Fredette being selected No. 10 overall in the 2011 draft, but he hasn't been able to stick in the NBA. Fredette has had a nice international career and even earned league MVP honors in China after the 2017 season. Fredette played in the 2018 Basketball Tournament and currently plays for the Shanghai Sharks.

 
10 of 25

Tate George, UConn

Tate George, UConn
Robert W Stowell Jr-Getty Images

Tate George is best known for hitting a game-winning shot to beat Clemson in the 1990 Sweet 16. His NBA career was short, though he did have a decent CBA career. George is currently serving a nine-year sentence for wire fraud involving his real estate company in New Jersey and must pay $2.5 million as restitution when released.

 
11 of 25

Luke Hancock, Louisville

Luke Hancock, Louisville
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Hancock's huge 2013 Final Four made him the first bench player in tournament history to win the Most Outstanding Player Award. After graduating from Louisville, Hancock suffered a leg injury while playing in Greece and decided to end his hoops career. He currently works for the ACC Network. 

 
12 of 25

R.J. Hunter, Georgia State

R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter hit the game-winning shot to stun Baylor and knock his coach (who is also his dad) out of his chair in the 2015 tournament. Hunter appeared in just 44 regular season and five postseason NBA games played in the G League and overseas ever since. He currently plays for Galatasaray in the Turkish BSL. 

 
13 of 25

Kris Jenkins, Villanova

Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jenkins will forever be known as the guy who hit the buzzer-beater to beat North Carolina in the 2016 national championship game. After his Wildcats were knocked out during the first weekend of the 2017 tournament, he supported North Carolina's run to its title due to his adoptive brother, Nate Britt, playing for the Tar Heels. After a couple of seasons kicking around in the G League, Jenkins is currently the student-athlete development coordinator at Villanova.

 
14 of 25

Jai Lewis, George Mason

Jai Lewis, George Mason
NCAA Photos-Getty Images

Lewis led George Mason on that improbable 2006 Final Four run. After basketball, Lewis tried his hand at an NFL career as an offensive tackle, even getting a look from the New York Giants. It didn't pan out, so he went back to a basketball career in Europe and Asia. Now in his post-athletic career, he is a behavioral specialist in the Baltimore area. 

 
15 of 25

Gabe Lewullis, Princeton

Gabe Lewullis, Princeton
Vince Compagnone-Getty Images

His name may not be recognizable, but his backdoor layup to beat UCLA in 1996 is legendary. Lewullis is now an orthopedic surgeon who has become the chief of sports medicine at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania. He was once a team doctor for the Boston Celtics.

 
16 of 25

Sean May, North Carolina

Sean May, North Carolina
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

May won Most Outstanding Player honors when he led North Carolina to the 2005 NCAA championship. After four uneventful NBA seasons, he bounced around Europe but didn't find much success. He is currently back at his alma mater as the director of basketball operations for the Tar Heels. 

 
17 of 25

Kyle O'Quinn, Norfolk State

Kyle O'Quinn, Norfolk State
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

O'Quinn scored 26 points and 14 boards in Norfolk State's stunning upset of No. 2 seed Missouri in 2012. He played eight seasons in the NBA with the Magic, Knicks, Pacers, and 76ers and is currently playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish BSL.

 
18 of 25

Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia

Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsnogle gained national attention after leading the Mountaineers to a miracle run through the 2005 tournament. He went undrafted and spent a few years in the CBA and the D-League as well as on the semi-pro circuit. Pittsnogle has returned to his West Virginia hometown to first become a car dealer and teach special education.

 
19 of 25

Rumeal Robinson, Michigan

Rumeal Robinson, Michigan
Stephen Dunn-Getty Images

Robinson helped lead the Wolverines to a national title in 1989 and played six seasons in the NBA. His life has taken a turn since. In 2010 Robinson was convicted on 11 counts of bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and other charges. He was trying to start a development business and got into some shady practices to secure funding. He was released from prison in 2016 after serving more than six years.

 
20 of 25

God Shammgod, Providence

God Shammgod, Providence
Ryan Pyle-Getty Images

Shammgod vaulted into the hoops culture because of his game (that crossover!) as well as his name. He was a big part of the Friars' 1997 Elite Eight run. After a brief stint with the Wizards, he went on to a long career overseas, mainly in China. He has now found a career in coaching, first back at his alma mater and with the NBA's Mavericks.

 
21 of 25

Miles Simon, Arizona

Miles Simon, Arizona
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Simon, the MOP of the 1997 Arizona Wildcats title team, played just five games in the NBA before playing a couple of seasons overseas. He got into coaching as an assistant for Lute Olson at Arizona and worked as an analyst for ESPN before taking on various roles for USA Basketball. Simon is currently in his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

 
22 of 25

Keith Smart, Indiana

Keith Smart, Indiana
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Smart is best known for hitting the game-winning shot to beat Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA championship game. After just 12 minutes of NBA action, Smart bounced around foreign and domestic leagues before getting into coaching. He was a head coach for the Cavaliers (interim), Warriors, and Kings, compiling a 93-170 record. He was recently an assistant coach for the New York Knicks.

 
23 of 25

T.J. Sorrentine, Vermont

T.J. Sorrentine, Vermont
Jim McIsaac-Getty Images

Sorrentine's huge three-pointer in overtime helped Vermont topple No. 4 Syracuse in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. He bounced around Europe and the NBA D-League before settling into coaching. Currently, he is the associate head coach at Brown University.

 
24 of 25

Scotty Thurman, Arkansas

Scotty Thurman, Arkansas
Wesley Hitt-Getty Images

Thurman's shot to close out the 1994 national championship is legendary among Arkansas fans ... and Duke haters. He spent a decade playing basketball overseas or in fledgling American leagues. In 2016, he would go back to his alma mater to become an assistant for the Razorbacks. He is currently the head coach at Little Rock Parkview High School in Arkansas.

 
25 of 25

Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin

Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The brash player with the unique look caught the nation's eye in 2016 when his Lumberjacks toppled West Virginia in the tournament and sent a scare into Notre Dame before falling by a point. After not catching on in the NBA, he is currently playing in the Lithuanian Basketball League and the EuroLeague. 

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