Believe it or not, the NCAA Tournament has been around for a long time - longer than the NBA, longer than the Super Bowl, longer than flat-screen TVs and office pools and bracket mania and presidents giving their picks. This March marks the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament, better known as March Madness, which started as an eight-team pool and has exploded in a 68-team, single elimination, upset-filled spectacle that captures national attention every year.
From the first winner (Oregon, in their only NCAA win) to the most recent (Kentucky, who captured their eighth national title), March Madness has been full of action, suspense, and memorable moments. The NCAA released a press statement today, detailing how the fans will be able to select their 15 favorite NCAA tournament moments.
"Starting in early January at NCAA.com/MarchMadness, fans will vote to help
determine the Top 15 All-Time March Madness Players, the single best All-Time
March Madness Team, and the single best All-Time March Madness Moment
in NCAA tournament history. These honorees will be introduced at this year’s
2013 Men’s Final Four in Atlanta. Status on the voting throughout the year will be
available on NCAA’s March Madness Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag
To see a full list of memorable moments, players, and memories, head to the NCAA's website.
The list is chock full of some of the greatest players of all time: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Bill Walton are just some of the greats who made March Madness particularly memorable. There are great moments: Christian Laettner's miracle shot to beat Kentucky, Cinderella runs by George Mason, Butler and VCU, and Villanova's upset over Georgetown.
And there are some very notable misses: for instance, the Fab Five of Michigan is no where to be found, thanks to NCAA sanctions that effectively wiped that team from memory. Too bad, given how influential they were to the modern game.
Overall, the most interesting category may be Best All-Time team. How can you compare, say, John Calipari's Kentucky team that featured a slew of one-and-done freshmen sensations, to a Florida team that won back-to-back titles, to the dominant UCLA teams of John Wooden and the undefeated 1955-56 San Francisco team that featured Bill Russell?
Make sure to go and vote on the NCAA's website, and maybe if you brush up on your NCAA history, you'll finally win your office pool this year.