Dec. 11, 2012
The University of Connecticut men's basketball team has been recognized as the NCAA named the Top 75 All-Time March Madness Players, 25 All-Time March Madness Teams and 35 All-Time Madness Moments as part of the season-long celebration of 75 Years of March Madness.
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 #MM75.
UConn's 2003-04 NCAA champions, led by Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, was named among the All-Time March Madness Teams, while Richard Hamilton, the Most Outstanding Player in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, Okafor, the MOP in 2004, and Kemba Walker, the MOP in 2011 as UConn won its third national title, were named among the All-Time March Madness Players.
UConn was a part of four of the All-Time Madness Moments: Tate's George's last-second shot that beat Clemson in the 1990 East Regional semifinals; the last-second shot by Duke's Christian Laettner that nipped UConn in the 1990 East Regional championship game; Hamilton's buzzer-beater that upended Washington in the 1998 East Regional semifinals; and George Mason's upset of UConn to advance to the 2006 Final Four.
"Over the 75 years, the basketball championship has grown from a small eight-team tournament to one of the world's most popular sporting events," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men's basketball championships. "To honor the growth of our sport, we are celebrating past players, teams and moments that have helped turn March Madness into one of the year's most anticipated sporting events. We invite all NCAA basketball fans --- both new and loyal --- to take a stroll down memory lane. And of course, we encourage friendly debate among fans around all their favorites."
From a pool of more than 100 former players, NCAA staff analyzed statistical data compiled exclusively from performances in NCAA tournament games [e.g., points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, three-pointers (since 1987), assists, steals, blocks] to determine the 75 player finalists.
The lists were compiled and researched by the NCAA's basketball and statistics staffs, which consulted with the NCAA's media partners and selected members of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Additionally, CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com, in conjunction with the NCAA, will air original programming commemorating 75 years of March Madness featuring many of the great players, teams and moments in the tournament's history.