GLENDALE, Ariz. — It is college basketball’s biggest night, and more than a handful of noteworthy former players and celebrities are here at University of Phoenix Stadium to watch Gonzaga and North Carolina play for the national title. We’ve put together a list of who we've seen in the stands and on social media. So far, no sign of NBA legend and former Tar Heel Michael Jordan:
1) Andrew Carter, who covers North Carolina for The News & Observer, reported that 50 former Tar Heels were in Phoenix for Monday’s game, highlighted by Vince Carter. Here are some of the additional names, which includes Golden State Warriors backup James Michael McAdoo.
As of 3 p.m. local time here, there were 50 former UNC players planning to be here tonight. The list includes, among others: pic.twitter.com/KKspstMrQ0— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) April 3, 2017
2) Not to be outdone, more than 60 former Gonzaga players are on hand, according to USA TODAY’s Josh Peters. Andy Katz provides us a photo with some of those players. Right in the front is former NBA player Adam Morrison, who also appears to be a little sunburned. Not pictured, though, is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists, John Stockton. Stockton played for the Zags in the early 1980s, before they were a national powerhouse.
Found all the former Zags: https://t.co/fLM2cSo1Mc pic.twitter.com/ZLkTcmRkcW— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) April 4, 2017
3) There is only one NBA game on the league’s schedule tonight, and a few players are taking advantage. Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer, two Bulldog standouts who were drafted in 2016, are here. Sabonis plays for Oklahoma City, while Wiltjer is with the Houston Rockets.
Two late arrivals. Sabonis and Wiltjer, who is wearing his Rockets warmup shorts. https://t.co/sT9ySCbi5M pic.twitter.com/Oqomv6yx9G— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) April 4, 2017
4) Wiltjer and Sabonis show some love for Gonzaga senior Przemek Karnowski and his beard.
#FearTheBeard @PKarnowski !!! In here with the brodie @Dsabonis11 #ZagUp pic.twitter.com/MujlCtE1BG— Kyle Wiltjer (@kwiltj) April 4, 2017
5) Not everyone noteworthy at University of Phoenix Stadium has an association with basketball. Case in point: Olympic legend Michael Phelps. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil found the 28-time medal winner -- a volunteer swimming coach at Final Four host school Arizona State -- before tipoff. Phelps didn’t have to travel far to get here tonight. In 2015, he moved to Arizona in 2015 to be closer to his longtime coach Bob Bowman.
The GOAT is here. https://t.co/5RzpcFTigN pic.twitter.com/R2sio1rMHC— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) April 4, 2017
6) Here’s another look at Phelps, who, like Adam Morrison, seems to have spent a little too much time in the Arizona sun.
Michael Phelps (and his tan) in the house! #NationalChampionship pic.twitter.com/5ulnJ9y2rP— theScore (@theScore) April 4, 2017
7) As he has been after his Villanova Wildcats were knocked out of the tournament, last year’s hero Kris Jenkins is here to cheer on his brother Nate Britt, who is a North Carolina senior guard. If it comes down to the wire, perhaps Jenkins can lend some of his last-second magic to his brother’s team.
Poor Roy turns around to talk to his assistants and sees the Ghost of Christmas Past. pic.twitter.com/ZOvXKKjsRk— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) April 4, 2017
8) Odell Beckham Jr. of the NFL’s New York Giants is back on Monday. Beckham Jr., who went to Louisiana State, was in attendance Saturday, as well. He, apparently, is a big fan of the Tar Heels.
Odell Beckham Jr just got booed by the Phoenix crowd here. Maybe they don't line the hair. #marchmadness pic.twitter.com/c9794Aq3Bg— Ted Bauer (@tedgbauer) April 4, 2017
Well, I'm in the same building as Odell Beckham Jr, so I've got that going for me I guess— Donnie Druin (@DonnieDruin) April 4, 2017