(1) Katie Rutledge Villanova, UC-Davis

  • Conference: Big 8
  • History: 2014-2017
  • Best Friend: 2016
  • MVP: 2016

Katie is a 1-seed from the Big 8 Conference and is leading Villanova and UC-Davis in the tournament. This friend won the FMAA title in 2016 and was named MVP in 2016. Katie is in the Friendship Madness field for the fourth time this year.

Message from the commissioner

There is no end to all the things Brian Henry has done for me over the course of our friendship, but I told him recently the best thing he ever did for me was bring Katie into my life. I never thought I’d care so much for someone who goes to sleep earlier than my parents, crochets more than grandmothers and makes more puns than Han Solo Dad Jokes. But I do. She long ago broke past just being my best friend’s girlfriend to become one of my best friends.

We’ve stumbled around the streets of Tulsa during Center of the Universe Festival. She remains the only person I’ve ever brunched with one-on-one. I’d bet good money she is singlehandedly keeping the LEGO video game franchise afloat. She’s the only person I’d want to do my taxes, and she would forcefully refuse.

Katie is a remarkable person. I am immeasurably lucky to have her in my life and blessed beyond measure she had the patience to outlast — and more importantly, forgive — a dark few months of my life. Katie is a Friend™ because she cares about her friends’ well-being when they’re too wrapped up to care themselves, she responds appropriately to shenanigans with supportive patience or firm criticism according to the severity of the shenanigan and she lets loose with all the joy (and mess) of a drunk toddler, and it’s adorable.

Also, she’s the living embodiment of the Grumpy Cat meme, and I love her all the more for it.