The Look of a Winner

A panel of experts handicaps the Final Four the old-fashioned way: According to the coaches' fashion sense

Throw out your tournament seedings and your RPI. When it comes to picking a winner in the NCAA, style is king. So we assembled a panel of fashion experts, supplied them with photos of the Final Four coaches, and turned 'em loose. The experts:

The way our panel sees it, North Carolina's got this one in the bag. Here are the results, from worst to first.

Rick Pitino,
University of Louisville
RATING: 5.3

Despite his impressive coaching résumé, Coach Pitino does not go over particularly well with our style mavens. It isn't the clothes -- "They don't bother me," says D-Sly -- as much as the horse they rode in on.

Our panelists even let Pitino get away with the white collar/blue shirt look. (D-Sly: "I don't mind it because he's a definite brunette. If he was silver, no way. If he was blonde, no way.") In fact, they were hard-pressed to point out any fashion faux pas. But appearancewise, Slick Rick draws anything but raves. From the bushy eyebrows to the puffy pallor and the poufy hair, our critics tee off.

Laments Jacob amid the carnage: "Poor thing, we're ripping him apart."

Style Do:

ALISON: "I like the tie, because to me it looks like it has those dot candies on it."

Style Don't:

D-SLY: "He needs some manscaping on them brows something fierce."

JACOB: "Those are outta control."

D-SLY: "And maybe some rest: He looks tired."

JACOB: "Or some eye-work, whatever's easier. And some pomade -- his hair's a little fluffy."

D-SLY: "Again, it's the moisturization. I mean he looks like he really could use some skin care."

Style Tip:

KATHRYN: "I suggest some cucumbers for over the eyeballs to take some of the puffies out."

D-SLY: "He might want to visit the Grecian Formula."

ALISON: "He does seem to have his nose hair trimmed, though."

Bruce Weber,
University of Illinois

RATING: 5.4

Jacob is torn. On the one hand he has the Illini's Beloved Bruce pegged as "an angry politician who needs some meds." Then again, you can't deny Weber has some fashion sense. "He might be a metrosexual in the sports world," Jacob allows. But the shoes, he says, have got to go.

D-Sly is all over the grooming aspect, noting, "It does seem like he does some manscaping. I mean, if you look at his eyebrows, they're not too woolly-bully. You can tell he's got a good head of hair on him, so that is impressive to me."

The ladies, however, are not impressed. "I'm a captive audience for sports every night," Kathryn reminds us. "The other night when he was screaming into the microphone -- it was kind of a Bobcat Goldthwait kind of a characteristic."

We'll give D-Sly the last word: "Add a watch, pop a Valium, man of my life."

Style Do:

KATHRYN: "An 'A' for the use of orange, because that's not an easy color to use. He pulls his team color off well."

JACOB: "He's expressive, I'll give him that."

KATHRYN: "His hairspray use is all right."

Style Don't:

ALISON: Lose the pleated pants: "It's like, 'I could maybe be a little bit pregnant.'"

JACOB: "Bojangles! He looks like he's going to do a little soft-shoe act."

Style Tip:

JACOB: "[He needs] some man-bling."

Tom Izzo,
Michigan State University

RATING: 6.3

"I'm getting a very CIA-movie kind of vibe, like he'd be the villain. Like with Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October kind of a thing," says Kathryn. "Yeah, very Clint Eastwood," Jacob agrees.

While Pitino's looks do him in, the Izzinator coasts on his appearance, only to be done in by his clothes. "He's very handsome in the bone structure," sums up D-Sly.

But the tie looks cheap, the look's blah, and our man from Michigan State is in dire need of a haircut. "It would make him more youthful," says D-Sly. "Like Dan Rather, when he got his hair cut really short. And all of a sudden he went from looking like 105 to like 60."

Style Do:

D-SLY: "The pants look possibly flat-front or single-pleat."

ALISON: "Which is always better than the double-pleat."

Style Don't:

D-SLY: "The tie looks cheap, I have to say."

KATHRYN: "Boring, boring."

JACOB: "I have a little problem with the excess neck skin that kind of like folds over the collar -- he needs a little bigger collar."

D-SLY: "And his jacket's way too big, and there's no tailoring here whatsoever. It's boxy."

ALISON: "He's also missing bling."

JACOB: "Maybe a gold chain or two."

D-SLY: "A gold tooth!"

ALISON: "I see an incisor that needs one."

Style Tip:

ALISON: "What do you think of the deep side part?"

D-SLY: "Of course, he's got a receding hairline, but he would youth-anize himself if he got a haircut. He looks like a fit, athletic man, so he should work for his physique versus against it."

Roy Williams,
University of North Carolina

RATING: 7.9

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