From Publishers Weekly
College basketballs "biggest stage" gets a year-by-year treatment in this coffee-table book and accompanying DVD. The book covers the wildly popular sporting event of March Madness from its inception in 1939 (when the Oregon Ducks beat the Ohio State Buckeyes) to the 2004 crown (when top-ranked UConn triumphed over Georgia Tech). Each years game summary is written by a different newspaper sports editor, and most writers are matched with years in which their home team won the tournament. They document upsets, spectacular performances and gaffes, simultaneously charting college basketballs evolution from a money-losing venture (the first tournament lost $2,531) to a forum on race (in 1962, Mississippi State refused an invite to the NCAA Tournament because it would have to play integrated teams) to a showcase of supreme athleticism (which Wooden, former UCLA coach and winner of 10 NCAA championships, laments: "If I want to see showmanship, Ill go see the Globetrotters"). Although stiff pages make the book difficult to page through and keep open, fans probably wont mind; theyll be sucked in by the stories and photos of drama on the courts. Photos.
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This pictorial includes a DVD, making it an exciting multimedia slice of American sports and well worth its very reasonable price.From the NCAA itself comes a celebration of the Final Four, college basketball's most prestigious level of tournament play, in March Madness
. Separated by decade and proceeding year by year, the book begins with the first Final Four showdown in 1939, which took place in Evanston, Illinois, and ended when Oregon beat Ohio State to become the first NCAA champions. The narration gives you not only the exciting action on the court but also the growing popularity of the tournament over time. What's interesting in looking back on great college ball is how many "regular guys" there were--great athletes who didn't go on to the pros, for whatever reason--standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside superstar athletes such as Russell, Chamberlain, and Jordan.
Mary Frances Wilkens
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