It's about that time when everyone starts putting together features based around brackets and Grantland has put out a bracket that will attempt to decide "The Most Hated College Basketball Players of the Last 30 Years." While the bracket has some flaws (coupling all the Duke players into one region is unfair since both Christian Laettner, J.J. Redick and Bobby Hurley are all Final Four locks), it's a curious discussion-starter, especially for Syracuse Orange fans.
That's because three former Orange make the list.
We start with the most obvious selection, Eric Devendorf. Devo is a 4-seed in the 00's Region, where he's going head-to-head with 5-seed Kirk Hinrich. Devo fit the mold of "hate-able college basketball player" to a T. He was white, he was tatted up, he had an attitude, he was prone to celebration, he was a hot dogger and he had a few off-the-court issues that "proved" he was a bad guy. Moreso than some of the guys in his region ahead of him (Adam Morrison, Joakim Noah), Devo was a legitimate villain rather than just really, really annoying.
Next we head to the 80's Region where there's a chance two SU stars could battle for the right to go to the Final Four. They are 3-seed Derrick Coleman and 5-seed Sherman Douglas. I have to admit that I was pretty young when both of these guys played and I can't say I truly remember all of the things that would lead to them making this list. However, I can say that I'm not surprised to see Coleman while being very surprised to see Sherman Douglas here. I don't know very many "Sherman Douglas was an a-hole" stories and I'm guessing he's here more for being an on-court nuisance than a bad guy. In fact, if the voting holds up, it doesn't look like many other folks see him as a bad guy either.
Meanwhile, people really don't like D-Coleman. I suppose the question is, do you hate him for what he did at SU or for what he did (and didn't do) in the NBA?
Some players I assumed would have made the list instead? Jason Cipolla and Rony Siekaly, though I suppose they didn't make enough impact to warrant a spot.
My unbiased assumption is that the Final Four will be Christian Laettner, Derrick Coleman, Adam Morrison (we hate criers) & Eric Montross, with Laettner crushing Morrison in the finals.