Hairology: The Final Four

AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

There’s bracketology. Then, there’s hairology.

The NCAA has too many rules. Head coaches micromanage. It’s one of the last avenues of creativity for players.


We’re down to four teams – and some interesting hair. There’s SC Gamecock Hassani Gravett. He comes off the bench and doesn’t get a heck of a lot of burn – but he has a high, shiny red mohawk. It screams: Coach put me in! 

Then there’s Oregon Duck Dylan Ennis. When you see Ennis, you might be inclined to check that something isn’t wrong with your screen. Ennis bleached a frontal patch of his coif. Call it the skunk look. Seriously, it’s not a bad marketing tool. Scouts can’t miss Ennis, who is in his sixth year.

But there’s a personality that’s bigger than hair.

While Martin’s hair is lean and mean, his personality is tough – and enormous, in a good way. Martin has stolen the tournament with his press conference soliloquys. Why do his players play such unrelenting D? How can you not after listening to this man. His post-game statements turn into confessionals about what he has struggled to overcome. His grandmother came to the U.S. without the ability to speak English. He was raised solely by a single mother. A big night out with the fam was fast food. Martin started work as an adolescent – and hasn’t stopped. He graduated college after too many years as a part-time student. Martin, who by his own admission was not much of a player, got his break into the profession as a high school JV coach.  And it goes on and on.And somehow, Frank Martin persevered, and now he’s one of four teams left standing.

Right now, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin is bigger than basketball.