- Ryan Corazza
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With March Madness kicking off Thursday -- the most wonderful time of the year, of course; don't let that Christmas song fool you -- here's a by-no-means-comprehensive list of some active athletes and coaches in the social media game who will be participating in the NCAA tournament:
Figures that the most-followed coach on Twitter (1,113,928 followers and counting at the time this story was published) also led his team to a No. 1 seed in the East Regional. That'd be Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Coach Cal is oftentimes promoting off-the-court endeavors on his Twitter account, although he sometimes gets some assistance with the actual updating because he's not too tech-minded, according to an ESPN.com story last year. But he has been dropping links to some audio of him talking about the Wildcats' recent games in the SEC tourney, so that's something that could continue as they march through the Big Dance. And if you're looking for a player's side of things, Patrick Patterson has you covered.
Evan Turner has the ability to put the Buckeyes on his back and lead them to the Final Four; he's arguably the best college player in the land this season.
But off the court and online, you can also discover more about "The Villain" on Twitter.
Yet Mark Titus, a one-time Reporting-from-the-Jock-o-sphere interviewee and benchwarmer for the Buckeyes, might be the most intriguing online persona in all of the tournament. You can check out his blog Club Trillion -- don't miss his heartfelt post about Senior Day or describing what it felt like to rush the court after Turner nailed that buzzer-beater against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament -- or find Titus on Twitter, where he has triple the amount of followers as Turner.
And hey, being Internet famous is more important than being a lottery pick in this year's NBA draft, right?
Assistant coach Jeff Boals is rather active on Twitter as well.
If you're looking for some behind-the-scenes access to the tourney from the Blue Devils, head to BluePlanet.com. Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been video-blogging this season, and players have been featured in videos during the season as well.
Kansas coach Bill Self has led his Jayhawks to the No. 1 overall seed, and you can catch him on Twitter right here. At 7,119 followers at publishing time, he needs only the entire country of Trinidad & Tobago -- UN population estimate: 1,339,000 -- to catch Calipari. Easy, right?
You can also find coach Gary Williams of Maryland; coach Oliver Purnell of Clemson; coach Scott Drew of Baylor; coach Chris Mack of Xavier; coach Jamie Dixon of Pitt; coach Mark Turgeon of Texas A&M; and coach Chris Mooney of Richmond on Twitter.
Georgetown Hoyas guard Austin Freeman also gets his tweet on.
Ryan Corazza is a freelance writer and Web designer based in Chicago.
Ryan Corazza rounds up some notable college basketball personalities in the NCAA Tournament who will be dishing out updates on the Web about their March Madness experiences.