The Greatest Month of Basketball


Darius Hammond, Staff Writer

It has finally arrived. We are now in the midst of the greatest month of basketball. Every year, we patiently wait for the 3rd month of the year to see college basketball stars and college basketball unknowns become immortalized, enshrined, and inducted into college basketball’s greatest moments. From number one seeds to Cinderellas, all 64 teams compete at their highest level to possibly make it to the big dance and hoist up the national championship trophy. Originating in 1939 with a field of 68 teams, the NCAA National Championship has always been the highlight of the year for basketball fans across the nation. We get to experience future NBA stars go head to head with other future NBA stars and players looking to make a name for themselves under the nation’s spotlight.

In 2008, we were able to witness the true meaning of a Cinderella team and an unknown player step into the spotlight, and place his name as one the greatest players to ever play during the NCAA tournament. Now, arguably the greatest shooter to ever touch a basketball, Steph Curry is a perennial All-Star for the Golden State Warriors, an NBA champion, and an NBA MVP. Some believe that without his performance during the national championship of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, these accolades would not be possible. This is just an example of how an unknown player can instantly become a superstar in the world of basketball.

Let us not forget the year of 1982. A skinny freshman, who added value to the North Carolina Tar Heels all season, was given the opportunity to bring home a championship during March Madness. By sinking a baseline jumper, he created his legacy as the greatest basketball player of all time. We know him by his shoes, his dominance on the court, and his legacy. That skinny kid was Michael Jordan. In 2016, North Carolina had another opportunity, but one March Madness greatest came when Kris Jenkins of the Villanova Wildcats scored a last second three point bomb to bring the championship for the Wildcats. As you know March Madness is defined by excitement.

This year, we get to witness another college basketball superstar on center stage. Zion Williamson, of the Duke Blue Devils, has wowed us all year long with his athleticism. He has punished rims and made himself stand out amongst competition. His counterparts RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish are amongst basketball elite. With a number one seed, many have them going all the way to the National Championship game. But what defines March Madness is not only the excitement, but the fact any team can prevail. Labeled as a Cinderella, which means any team with a lower seed and highly unfavorable to make it passed the field of 32, these teams are the ones to have the most shock factor with them. In 2006, George Mason made an epic run all the way to the Final Four. Who is to say that this year won’t have the same result with teams such as: Murray State, Belmont, and Yale? Not to mention the field of 64 is filled with so much talent and possibility. This year is sure to bring thrills to all college basketball fans. So as the March Madness tips off on March 19, 2019, may your brackets remain perfect and on April 9th let’s hope that our predictions come true.