Breath it in

March Madness lives on in the NBA

Posted by mvetack on March 10, 2010

March Madness is officially here.  If you were lucky enough like me to be home this afternoon (well maybe its not luck that has you home) but either way if you were home today lucky or unluckily, your TV was probably tuned to ESPN for a while.  Thats because the Big East Tournament has begun.  The early rounds just started getting played out in the premier conference in the NCAA.  When March Madness arrives there is a group of guys in the NBA that will always pop into my mind.

These guys are not necessarily the best college players of all time and they are not necessarily only going to be known for their college careers, but for some reason or another to me they will not be forgotten as long as the Big Dance is still around.

Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic guided one of the most memorable college basketball seasons in my 22 years on this earth.  St. Josephs came out of no where and road the back of their leader, all 5 foot 11 of him, to a near undefeated season. Finishing the regular season at 27-1, St. Josephs entered the tournament as the number one overall seed and reached the Elite Eight where they were knocked off by number 2 seed Oklahoma State.  Despite not making it to the National Title, Jameer took us all on an unbelievalbe ride, as we watched him and his teammates take over college basketball during the 2004 season.

Tayshaun Prince of the now lowly Detroit Pistons first entered our living rooms as the lanky forward at power house Kentucky.  Prince was a guy that could completely change a game at will.  In one game against North Carolina, Prince made 5 consecutive three pointers on the way to a 20 point blow out lead.  Playing at Kentucky meant that Prince was always around when it came tournament time.  He seemed to play college ball for about 8 years and besides his chase down block on Reggie Miller (my last memory of Reggie Miller the basketball  player) the image in my head when hearing Tayshaun’s name is him playing ball at a high level as a Wild Cat.

Mike Bibby of the Atlanta Hawks was a player from one of my earliest memories of the NCAA tournament.  Being a young guy loving basketball, I played more in the drive way then I actually watched on TV.  Before the tournament began my Uncle put every team in a hat and we all (about ten family member) drew teams.  My brother got the Kentucky Wildcats and my Uncle got the Arizona Wildcats.  This is memorable because the two teams met in the National Championship.  All Freshman Mike Bibby lead Arizona to the championship victory over Kentucky and resulted in my brother winning second place.  My brother and I followed that tournament so closely and Bibby was on our radar the whole tournament knowing that our Uncle had that Arizona squad and that we might end up facing them down the road.  Bibby was probably the first enemy I developed in college basketball.

There are more guys that will be added to this list in the future and there are definitely some guys that will always come up at some point in my mind in March but never made an impact in the NBA.  Gerry McNamara, Khalid El-Amin, Ed Cota, and Mateen Cleeves just to name a few.  March is a perhaps the greatest month of the year for competition and I look forward to adding more memories for the future in the 2010 Big Dance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: