The Washington Huskies did not score a date to Big Dance this year. The Pac-12 regular season champs had their bubble burst by the selection committee, which chose the likes of Iona, BYU, and even conference runner-up Cal over the disappointing Dawgs. Alas, the Golden Bears have a player named Bak Bak, and the men of Montlake with their normal names simply can't equal with that. Scouring the rosters of the NCAA tournament teams, Bak Bak might be twice as good as anybody else, but the Sudanese power foward faces some stiff competition. Here are 16 other unique, unpronounceable, and otherwise amusing names from this year's field.
15. Brandon Wheeless. Have to wonder how much the guys on 15-seed Norfolk State tease their teammate about his lack of wheels. Like Syracuse, Norfolk State could almost field an all-name team of their own. In addition to Wheeless, they feature Reggie Revels, Quasim Pugh, Pendarvis Williams, and Kievyn Lila-St.Rorse.
14.Donley Minor III. It sounds like he could be the latest scion from a family of snooty millionaires, but the junior point guard for 16-seed Lamar actually grew up in LA's rough Watts neighborhood.
13. Nigel Snipes. You'll have better luck bagging game on a snipe hunt than Western Kentucky will have against Kentucky proper. But the Hilltoppers must first beat Mississippi Valley State in the play-in game before they can get a shot at the Wildcats.
12. Staats Battle.
12. Staats Battle.If 11-seed NC State is going upset San Diego State, they'll have to win the stats battle. Staats Battle, a freshman guard and former high school tennis star, probably won't get the chance to help. He has 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist...in 11 total minutes on the floor this season.
11. Ge'Lawn Guyn. The award for best use of an apostrophe in a name goes to Cincinnati's Ge'Lawn, whose name is supposed to be pronounced "GEE-lawn Gwin." (Honorable mention for Davidson's De'Mon Brooks, who presumably plays defense like a demon.)
10. Dee Giger. Unfortunately, the Harvard swingman majors in sociology rather nuclear physics, where he might get to handle an actual Geiger counter. Not that Giger has to do much counting: he's only appeared in five games and scored two points, a dunk against Yale.
9. Deuce Bello. Baylor's best player is Quincy Acy, whose name rolls off the tongue nicely, but Bello has him beat in the name game. Deuce is actually a nickname, but his given name is even better: Quddus Tosin Bello.
8. Vander Blue. When the Marquette guard tries to shoot from beyond the arc, the ball sails off into the Vander Blue yonder and rarely finds the bottom of the net. He's just 8-30 on three-pointers, a lowly .267 percent, for the season
7. Bubu Palo. Iowa State's sophomore point guard is averaging just under four points per game this year, but his real talent is pilfering picnic baskets. He real name is Yempabou Kevin Palo, with the nickname coming from Bubu, of the Yogi Bear cartoons.
6. Dalton Pepper and Scootie Randall. Neither Temple player will appear in the tournament, with Pepper sitting out because of transfer rules, and Randall, a senior from Philadelphia, out with a knee injury. Here's hoping they've been using the time off this season to shoot a buddy cop movie.
5. Mogboluwaga Oginni. The winner of this year's most unpronounceable award is the 6-foot-6, 215-pound freshman from Creighton. Phonetically, his first name is "Mo-boo-lou-wah-gah." The official profile from his school says he grew up in St. Louis, and has younger siblings named Oluwashayo and Oluwabusola. By the time their mom finished calling the kids to dinner, the food was already cold.
4. Tyrone Staggers. Lehigh's little-used freshman guard from Chicago sounds like he could be on Bill Simmons' Reggie Cleveland all-star team, but he actually doesn't qualify. Still has a pretty sweet name though.
3. Dakota Slaughter Alabama's freshman forward actually hails from Indiana, not the Dakotas, but his name sounds like what happened to General Custer in Montana.
2. Hippolyte Tsafack. In Greek mythology, Hippolyte is an Amazonian queen with a "magical girdle," but Tsafack has been neither mythical nor magical this season for Memphis. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound redshirt freshman from Cameroon has played just 39 minutes and scored 12 total points.
1. Grandy Glaze. The 6-foot-6 freshman from Canada sounds like something Rick Majerus, his coach at Saint Louis, eats for breakfast.
Best of the Rest: Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeli, UNLV's Oscar Bellfield, South Dakota State's Taévaunn Prince, Long Island's Robinson Odoch Opong, Long Beach State's Peter Pappageorge, Mississippi Valley State's Cor-J Cox, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, VCU's Heath Houston, Vermont's Four McGlynn, and Nevada's Brice Crook, who really got robbed by not making the top 16.)