NCAA BK

March Madness: Fashionable NCAA coaches courting wins, losses -- and ties

College basketball icon provides insight

 

On the road to the Final Four, your clothing game can be just as crucial as your moves on the court.

The savvy sartorial choices of Villanova's Jay Wright, West Virginia's Bob Huggins and Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams -- whose taste in clothing runs the gamut from fine silk ties to classic polyester suits -- were recently discussed on the sideline ahead of their first-round NCAA Tournament games.

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Wright, who was profiled in a GQ Magazine spread, is seen as one of the most smartly-dressed coaches in the NCAA. Even his tailor has been doing interviews.

"We've got to get him under control," Wright said with a laugh.

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But Wright takes serious pride in his "traditional" look and part of his news conference was devoted to addressing his style compared to that of Notre Dame's Mike Brey and Huggins, who prefer more casual outfits — without ties.

"I like Hugs' look," Wright said. "When you wear a nice suit and you're in the huddle and they're sweating on your suit. The guys are dripping on top of you. I'm thinking why am I wearing this nice suit? But it's tradition."

Huggins has worn a non-buttoned top for several years, a look that he joked better complements his body.

"I used to wear a tie. I did the whole deal," Huggins said. "I had tie, vest, I mean the whole deal. Probably if you look at pictures of me and Jay early, I was probably better looking back then. Probably dressed better back then. I had been doing it longer, had more money.

"The whole story is this: I had a suit and tie on, and we're playing somebody, and I'm at Cincinnati, and I go in, and I'm like I got to put something different on, because I had sweat all of the way through my suit and my vest. They were heavy," he said.

"So they brought me in a pullover, and I put it on and coached the second half in a pullover, and I was walking in, my AD said, 'I just want to tell you look really good in that pullover. That's what really coaches should wear.' So I started wearing one."

Williams would like to change into something more, ahem, suitable to his coaching style. He's found himself a target after soaking through his shirt and jacket during games.

He keeps a backup suit in case he gets too wet.

"What I tried to do is incorporate vests," he said. "It's the silliest thing ever, right? When you get your car fixed, does the mechanic sweat? You know, the guy that builds your house, the carpenter, I think he sweats. And I know it's funny, and I know I'm not the best looking guy in the world, but I'm just working real hard.

After he spent 15 minutes discussing his team's chances of repeating as national champions, Wright handled a few pressing questions about his clothing game.

Double Windsor? And is pocket square necessary?

"Straight Windsor," he said. "No, it's not always necessary. It depends on the outfit."

And, the coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.