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When March Went Mad

The Game That Transformed Basketball

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The dramatic story of how two legendary players burst on the scene in an NCAA championship that gave birth to modern basketball

Thirty years ago, college basketball was not the sport we know today. Few games were televised nationally and the NCAA tournament had just expanded from thirty-two to forty teams. Into this world came two exceptional players: Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird. Though they played each other only once, in the 1979 NCAA finals, that meeting launched an epic rivalry, transformed the NCAA tournament into the multibillion-dollar event it is today, and laid the groundwork for the resurgence of the NBA.

In When March Went Mad, Seth Davis recounts the dramatic story of the season leading up to that game, as Johnson's Michigan State Spartans and Bird's Indiana State Sycamores overcame long odds and great doubts that their unheralded teams could compete at the highest level. Davis also tells the stories of their remarkable coaches, Jud Heathcote and Bill Hodges—who were new to their schools but who set their own paths to build great teams—and he shows how tensions over race and class heightened the drama of the competition. When Magic and Bird squared off in Salt Lake City on March 26, 1979, the world took notice—to this day it remains the most watched basketball game in the history of television—and the sport we now know was born.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 26, 2009 – Davis, a Sports Illustrated writer and CBS Sports studio analyst, offers a vivid account of the sensational 1979 NCAA college finals featuring two potential pro basketball stars, Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that ushered in the current reign of the NBA worldwide. With the advent of round-the-clock ESPN sports coverage, the media-hyped game for the college national basketball championship between Johnson s Michigan State Spartans and Bird s Indiana State Sycamores on March 25, 1979, generated a huge TV audience, much ink and paved the way for a generation of pro basketball all-stars. Davis is adept at pinpointing the personality differences in Bird and Johnson both on and off the court, delving into the shy, withdrawn white Indiana farm boy and the popular black Michigan kid with the ready smile. His insights into the strategies and players of both teams leading up to the game is factual and straightforward, but the dramatic centerpiece of the book is the game itself, with all its ebbs and flows. All in all, this is an outstanding example of sports writing about a American sport, writing that is larger than the personalities or financial considerations.

Customer Reviews


Thanks for fixing it!

Great book!!!!

This is one of the most underrated books! It greatly documents the beginning of the most entertaining sports matchup in history! MUST READ!

When March Went Mad
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Basketball
  • Published: Mar 03, 2009
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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