If you ask the bookmakers in Vegas, they'll agree: March Madness--the NCAA basketball tournament--is the "greatest sporting event in America." But it's not just the betting that has won our hearts, it's the sport itself. Einhorn--currently vice-chairman of the Chicago White Sox--toots his horn a bit here in that he credits his own "revolutionary" idea of broadcasting college basketball games as being the event that changed the NCAA tournament for good. Perhaps he is right, because players and coaches went from being mere students and college staff to celebrities as the tournament grew in popularity. Drawing on interviews with nearly 50 college basketball greats--both players and coaches--Einhorn and Rapoport (the latter a former Chicago Sun-Times
columnist) provide a big-picture history of the tournament that nicely complements John Feinstein's more intimate, from-the-floor account, A March to Madness
(1998), and the lavishly illustrated history March Madness
(also from Triumph Books). A DVD accompanies. Mary Frances WilkensCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Inside Flap
Before college basketball became the multi-billion-dollar enterprise that culminates each year in the frenzied excitement of March Madness, it was a game of small gyms, tiny budgets, pioneering coaches, and university and network officials who were deeply suspicious of the intrusion of television into their fiefdom. All this was about to change as a young TV executive named Eddie Einhorn traveled the nation, selling his revolutionary idea of broadcasting college basketball games.
Einhorn built his TV network team by team, conference by conference, and station by station until eventually he found himself beating the major networks, stealing their audiences, and proving to skeptics that the game was about to explode on the national consciousness. Einhorn achieved his greatest success with the first primetime telecast of a college basketball game, the historic contest between Houston and UCLA in the Astrodome in 1968.
How March Became Madness is the fascinating account of how that telecast and its aftermath laid the foundation for what became one of the greatest sporting events in America. Its an account told through the voices of a veritable Whos Who of great coaches, players, and announcers, including John Wooden, Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Guy Lewis, Joe B. Hall, Denny Crum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Billy Packer, and Dick Vitale.
Through their and other voices, Einhorn tells the fascinating and often hilarious story of how March Madness became the incredible phenomenon we know today.