Meet Cameron Krutwig, Loyola Chicago's mustachioed meme generator taking over March Madness

Meet Cameron Krutwig, Loyola Chicago's mustachioed meme generator taking over March Madness

Are there any players left in the 2021 NCAA Tournament than Loyola Chicago’s Cameron Krutwig?

The 6-9, 255-pound senior center has totaled 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, five steals and 54.2 field goal percentage in the 8-seed Ramblers’ wins over 9-seed Georgia Tech and 1-seed Illinois.

He was particularly dominant in Loyola’s shocking upset over the Illini, putting up a team-high 19 points and game-high 12 rebounds and four steals in the 71-58 win. The fact that he not only played well, but thrived against the likes of Sporting News All-America selections Ayo Dusunmu (first team) and Kofi Cockburn (second team) made him an overnight Internet sensation.

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Oh, and the fact that he’s a free-spirited harmonica player with an eclectic music taste, is an endless meme generator and has a Twitter account dedicated to his mustache. But yeah, the basketball stuff plays a part too, which he can put on display in Saturday’s meeting with 12-seed Oregon State.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most fascinating player left in March Madness:

Cameron Krutwig mustache

Krutwig’s most notable feature is his mustache, which has enraptured fans the further Loyola delves into the tournament. According to a Feb. 11 feature by the student newspaper Loyola Phoenix, Krutwig began growing out his mustache — lovingly nicknamed “Krustache” by fans — over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I kind of started over quarantine just for fun,” Krutwig told the Phoenix. “I got back to school and everyone was kind of whatever about it. As the season has gone on and we’ve started to get some more recognition and things, obviously people are talking about it.”

The mustache hasn’t just engaged fans from afar, either. People close in Krutwig’s own life and team have also commented on the facial hair that’s taking March Madness by storm. Per the Phoenix, Krutwig’s girlfriend hates it. Loyola coach Porter Moser calls it a “mall cop ‘stache.” One fan who has followed the team “a couple years now” even made a dedicated Twitter account for all things Krustache-related.

As for when Krutwig will part with the mustache … don’t expect anything until after the NCAA Tournament is finished.

“I’ve gone to the team,” Krutwig said. “I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m probably going to shave this off, man,’ and like that has started World War III.”

Cameron Krutwig memes

Krutwig’s appearance and play have made him a viral sensation. A lot of people see him as a character in a Coen brothers movie, while others think he could fit in seamlessly into “Super Troopers.” Here are some of the best memes from Krutwig’s first two NCAA Tournament games:

How old is Cameron Krutwig?

Krutwig was born on Dec. 21, 1988, making him 22 years old.

Where is Cameron Krutwig from?

Krutwig hails from Algonquin, Ill., where he played for the Jacobs High School Golden Eagles. According to his team bio, he helped the team to a 93-29 record and three regional championships across four seasons, finishing as the school’s No. 4 all-time points leader (1,528) and top rebounder (1,281). He also totaled 245 career blocks and 240 assists.

He averaged 15.6 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game as a senior in 2016-17, not only helping the team to a 30-2 record and its first-ever sectional championship, but also earning a second consecutive selection to the Illinois all-state team. He ranked as a three-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class per 247Sports’ Composite rankings; he was the 348th-best player in the class, the 32nd-best center and the 17th-best player in the state.

Per 247Sports, Krutwig received interest from Loyola Chicago, UAB, Vermont and DePaul; every program except the Blue Demons offered him, but he committed to the Ramblers in August 2016. The campus is an hour and 15 minutes southeast of his hometown.

HISTORY OF UPSETS BY SEED:
15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

Will Cameron Krutwig get drafted?

Despite Krutwig’s high-level play this season and in the NCAA Tournament, he is not considered a draft prospect. He is not listed in the top 100 of ESPN’s NBA draft prospects, NBADraft.net, SI.com and more.

Cameron Krutwig harmonica

For those who think Krutwig is only a basketball talent, think again. He’s a modern-day Renaissance man, as evidenced by his, ahem, “mastery” of the harmonica. Just listen for yourself:

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Marvelous.

Krutwig’s interest in music — according to a Feb. 11 CBS Sports report, it varies from the 1970s, ’80s and 90’s and includes such musical groups as the The Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears and Phil Collins — began two years ago when he pranked walk-on teammate Will Alcock. Per the report, Krutwig told Alcock he signed him up for a talent show, which took place later in the day. He sang Andre Bocelli’s “Por Ti Volaré” and won.

The two sometimes jam together, with Krutwig on the harmonica and Alcock, curiously enough, on the saxophone.

As for why he chose a harmonica?

“It brings people together,” Krutwig told CBS. “I think the harmonica is the single greatest instrument of all time. It’s so little, so versatile. It’s just funny.”

Loyola assistant Drew Valentine backed up Krutwig’s assertion that the harmonica brings people together; he told CBS Krutwig would pull it out and “shred” it with the similar intensity he plays basketball.

“I’ve heard the harmonica,” Valentine said. “On the bus, after a team meal. He’ll just pull it out and everyone will start dying laughing. It’s funny as hell, to be honest. He’s trying to do the most he can. Imagine someone trying to shred a guitar solo. The body contortion, moving around like that, imagine that. But with a harmonica.”