Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
This was neither John Feinstein's best work, nor the best writing on the world of college hoops. However, though I'm terribly behind on reviewing bigger and better books, with less than two weeks left before this year's Last Dance, I wanted to give this a whirl before the window of relevance closes.
This glimpse “Behind the Scenes at the Final Four” is not for new fans. Although I do love me some “bracketology,” I felt out of my league for some of the reminiscing among Feinstein and his various interviewees. Mike Krzyzewski (aka Coach K) sets the scene perfectly in his introduction.
“To get to [the Final Four], you have to have a number of ingredients. You have to have been able to recruit very good players, you have to have a very patient family, you need excellent assistants, and you need luck. You need to keep key players healthy and, most of the time, you need to win at least one game that you probably deserved to lose.”
That's right folks, even among the best of the best, from Bobby Knight, to Dean Smith, and, of course, the legendary John Wooden, the coaches know that you can give it your best, earn your place, and even deserve to win, but that doesn't mean you'll go home a champion. In this spirit, coaches are able to take the undesirable title of BCNTHWTNC (that's Best Coach Never to Have Won the National Championship) at least somewhat in stride.
So why the madness over March Madness? Well, it hasn't always been that way. It wasn't until 1973, with Magic/Bird headliner, that the tournament was even televised. There are the cinderella stories, the heartbreakers—the cast is made up of: coaches, players, refs, announcers, and even “The Committee.”
But, why am I telling you about these stories when we could all be sitting in front of our televisions watching new history unfold before our eyes?!? There are a boatload of amazing visuals out there, but (due to my laziness) I'll just direct you toward the bevy of March Madness Infographics and, heck, I'll even throw in a cheat sheet (by ClassesandCareers) for the uninitiated among us!