Richard Hamilton is loving March Madness -- and his bracket looks pretty good

Richard Hamilton is loving March Madness -- and his bracket looks pretty good

Count Richard "Rip" Hamilton - known in the basketball world for his role in winning championships for the UConn Huskies and NBA's Detroit Pistons – as a major fan of this year's NCAA Tournament.

Hamilton, who officially retired from the NBA in February after a 14-year career, has had his eyes glued to the television throughout March Madness – and his bracket is doing quite well.

In addition to spreading the word about Gillette Clear Gel's new product, Undefeated, which helps block odor for 48 hours, Hamilton last week admitted he had picked Kentucky, Wisconsin, Villanova and Duke to reach the Final Four. Three out of four ain't bad, especially for picking all top seeds, right?

However, he quipped, "without UConn in it, it's hard for me to pick a winner."

Hamilton, who cited his retirement to wanting to be a full-time father, misses playing the game, but thankfully has March Madness to scratch his itch.

"All the time," he said when asked if he still has urges to lace up his sneakers. "I always get that itch because my eyes are constantly on the television lately. Watching any college game always has me reliving everything."

Hamilton is currently dabbling as a sports analyst, getting opportunities to work with NBA TV and ESPN, while putting in that same hard work that helped him become a legend at UConn and for the Pistons.

"It's been a roller coaster ride," he said of calling it quits. "When you're in it, you can't wait to retire – because then you don't have to be on somebody else's schedule. Then there's all the games, the travel, the little things like massage and stretching times, the practices – those all make up just a tiny part of what comes along with being a professional athlete. But now I really miss it. I miss the camaraderie."

Hamilton, 37, played for Detroit for most of his career, but also had short tenures with the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls. The three-time All-Star was an instrumental part of the Pistons' championship run in 2004 and their incredible streak of six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances from 2003 to 2008.

A native of Coatesville, Pa., Hamilton finished his career by averaging 16.5 points, 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds.

Prior to being drafted seventh overall by the Wizards in 1999, Hamilton was named that year's NCAA Tournament's MVP after the Huskies captured the national title.