Saturday, March 14, 2009

MARCH MADNESS REVIEW ON A WINNING NIGHT!


WHEN MARCH

MADNESS WENT MAD

by SETH DAVIS





IN HONOR OF MY FSU SEMINOLES BEATING NORTH CAROLINA TODAY AND SO THEY ARE GOING TO THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TOMORROW AGAINST DUKE, I AM POSTING A GREAT BASKETBALL BOOK FOR ALL BASKETBALL FANS AND MORE!


Before there was March Madness and huge salaried NBA Superstars, there came Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Before their time with the Celtics and the Lakers, these two gifted athletes and good friends, were but two college basketball players unknowingly set to change the face of college basketball forever.


In 1979, the NCAA Championship game was between Indiana State and Michigan State. According to author Seth Davis, and as many basketball aficionados will agree, this game was the turning point for college basketball and its huge appeal world wide. Back then there wasn't all the national exposure of teams as there were no huge television contracts or ESPN and other sport networks to hype the games. There were only two teams per conference in the tournament and WHEN MARCH WENT MAD tells how the game became what it is today because of this particular match up in 1979.


Davis gives a good recount of the teams and these two soon to be star players. Larry Bird who was shy and spoke very little to the news people and Magic Johnson was the opposite as he loved to talk, and came from the inner city. They both, however, loved the game and were hard workers and devoted players. Their talent made their whole team shine. However, more than just the friendship of Johnson and Bird, this book introduces us to the particular championship game these two stellar players were in and how it changed forever the face of college basketball.


Johnson played for Michigan State and Bird for Indian State. The description of the game and what led up to the finals tells how the people at NBC used this story of the 1979 national championship game to highlight two players, get viewers involved and thus take off with what would grow to be March Madness. NBC's decision paid off big time and the David and Goliath type match up of Bird and Johnson was not only entertaining but also addictive. This game and these players led to their time in the NBA and the national interest in them that helped popularity of not only college, but also professional basketball explode. Davis explains the details of the players, television coverage, the games, and the money that was involved in this turning point in sports.


The small college championship between two unlikely opposites who grew to be superstars and great friends is a good story for any sport fan or one who just likes a really good read. Highly recommended for people who didn't live through this era especially so that they may understand where all this March Madness and the trimmings came from.


5 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Fun review! (But I'm really here as part of the puppy-razzi!)

kalea_kane said...

Awesome review, and honestly something I should read, because I didn't understand all this March Madness stuff. :) (hangs head) :)

Bingo said...

Alas, we lost in the finals but who knows what will happen in the brackets! Thanks for the kind words about the review...the book is a good one!

bermudaonion said...

I'm a Hokie fan, so I was really glad to see FSU beat Carolina - I wish they'd beat Duke too.

Bingo said...

Well, FSU didn't beat DUKE but the real March Madness is in full swing for all us basketball fans....great time of the year! Enjoy the games and your reading

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