Which player made you fall in love with March Madness?

Mulligan

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Ed Pinckney when he had to go up against Patrick Ewing and led Villanova to the win. Loved the little fat coach too--Rollie Massimino (?)
 

Frink

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James Worthy. He just fearlessly attacked attacked that Hoya Defense in the 82 championship game. I cut the picture of him dunking on Ewing out of the newspaper and had on my wall.

Johnny Dawkins. I've mentioned before that much as I've come to dislike Duke, Dawkins is probably my favorite non Gopher player. He had such a complete game. Then in the game against Navy he did this. Cut that photo out of the paper too.
 

Lady Gopher

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Patrick Ewing and the 1982 Georgetown Hoyas. I was crushed when Jordan hit his shot and Freddie Brown mistakenly passed the ball to James Worthy. Ewing was such a force as a freshman.
I agree . I was in Lexington to see the game as a Georgetown supporter and we were all very disappointed.
 

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Magic and Bird, from that day forward for the next ten years I would make my own bracket and meticulously fill it in all the way thru the last game.
 

builtbadgers

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Magic and Bird, from that day forward for the next ten years I would make my own bracket and meticulously fill it in all the way thru the last game.
Loved that bracket as teams that had great regular seasons got bye's. Loved it even more when you had to win your conference to get in. The reality is the expanded field created more interest .
 

balds

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First player I ever loved was Lancaster Gordon for Louisville, 1982. First team I ever fell in love with was the 1983 Wolfpack, can't say I had a favorite, other than maybe Derrick Whitenberg.
 

coolhandgopher

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Even though I was old enough to have watched several tournaments before, I'd have to say Glen Rice. That team and his performance is one of my all-time favorites in all sports. It didn't hurt that that was the year Gophers made the Sweet Sixteen and I visited Williams Arena for the first time. My answer could also just be 1989. The Big Ten was so loaded. I don't think college basketball has ever been better.
One of my all-time favorite non-Gopher teams was the '89 Illini with Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Marcus Liberty, Steve Bardo, Lowell Hamilton...it was such a good team and it what a heartbreaker they lost in the Final Four semi's to Michigan. As you said, that era was the golden age of college basketball.

Just did a little search and the full game's available on YouTube-not what I need to start watching at this time of night, but man, it's tough not to get sucked in:
 
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WilliamsArenaGuy

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One of my all-time favorite non-Gopher teams was the '89 Illini with Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Marcus Liberty, Steve Bardo, Lowell Hamilton...it was such a good team and it what a heartbreaker they lost in the Final Four semi's to Michigan. As you said, that era was the golden age of college basketball.

Just did a little search and the full game's available on YouTube-not what I need to start watching at this time of night, but man, it's tough not to get sucked in:
I just watched that game a couple weeks ago. Well worth the time. Also watched Michigan-Seton Hall and Michigan-UNC Sweet 16. I should probably look for the Illinois-Syracuse and Duke-Georgetown Elite 8 games too. What a tourney!
 

WindyCityGopher

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that era was the golden age of college basketball.
The ‘80s was definitely the greatest decade of college basketball ever. The talent was insane, and they regularly stayed in college for 3-4 years before going pro. Watch the Requiem for the Big East 30 for 30 to remind yourself how magical college hoops was then, in that conference and across the country.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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Bobby Hurley. It was more because of my dad, though. I was 9-10 years old and my dad was just in awe of him. I didn't know enough about the sport then to form my own independent opinion, but because of Bobby Hurley I became a huge NCAA basketball fan.
 

bc2211

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As a kid I loved Pitt (don’t ask me why). Lavance Fields sticks out in my mind.

I was in grad school in Madison during Bronson Koenig’s freshman year... and while I already was in love with basketball, he really elevated my love for the tournament. That kid hit SO many clutch shots over his four tournaments.
 

Mulligan

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Harold Jensen balled for Nova
Still remember the shot he hit to put Villanova back up after Georgetown came back. When that happened is when I thought, "Damn, they have a chance to beat them," because you (I) just assumed Georgetown was going to win.
 

XMan

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Magic and Bird. That was super fun basektball in the late 70’s.

1982 big ten champ team (but they underperformed in tournament)

Patrick Ewing playing so well with a T-shirt in under his jersey which looked odd at the time

Willie Burton playing so well with his face mask on

Bobby J and the team reaching the final 4
 

obobo55

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First team I rooted hard for was '86 Duke. Team I perhaps most closely followed throughout a full season was Syracuse with Seikaly & Coleman and the many lob dunks.

Glen Rice was the guy that blew me away. Just such a great shooter and so smooth.

I too watched that Illini/Mich game recently. The Illini were an interesting group. Seemed everyone on that team was 6'3" to 6'7" and pretty even across the board. I need to try to find their other games vs Michigan that year, because it simply appeared that Michigan had too much length and kind of outmuscled them in the FF game.
 

coolhandgopher

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First team I rooted hard for was '86 Duke. Team I perhaps most closely followed throughout a full season was Syracuse with Seikaly & Coleman and the many lob dunks.

Glen Rice was the guy that blew me away. Just such a great shooter and so smooth.

I too watched that Illini/Mich game recently. The Illini were an interesting group. Seemed everyone on that team was 6'3" to 6'7" and pretty even across the board. I need to try to find their other games vs Michigan that year, because it simply appeared that Michigan had too much length and kind of outmuscled them in the FF game.
Remember Stevie Thompson from Syracuse? Memory serves that he was a 6’5” forward that could jump out of the gym and was the recipient of many of those lobs. And Sherman Douglas at the point...those were some nice teams. Couldn’t hit free throws to save their mother’s lives though.

Re: ‘89 Michigan, I seem to recall they were somewhat middling in the Big 10 that year and caught fire when Fisher replaced Frieder and Rice turned into ?
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Bobby Hurley. It was more because of my dad, though. I was 9-10 years old and my dad was just in awe of him. I didn't know enough about the sport then to form my own independent opinion, but because of Bobby Hurley I became a huge NCAA basketball fan.
Funny my duke hate was given to me from my dad
 

WilliamsArenaGuy

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Remember Stevie Thompson from Syracuse? Memory serves that he was a 6’5” forward that could jump out of the gym and was the recipient of many of those lobs. And Sherman Douglas at the point...those were some nice teams. Couldn’t hit free throws to save their mother’s lives though.

Re: ‘89 Michigan, I seem to recall they were somewhat middling in the Big 10 that year and caught fire when Fisher replaced Frieder and Rice turned into ?
They definitely went off in the tournament, which was unexpected after Frieder left. But they went 12-6, finished behind only Illinois and Indiana in the Big Ten, and were a 3 seed in the tournament. Much better than middling, IMO.
 

coolhandgopher

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They definitely went off in the tournament, which was unexpected after Frieder left. But they went 12-6, finished behind only Illinois and Indiana in the Big Ten, and were a 3 seed in the tournament. Much better than middling, IMO.
I knew as I was typing that middling wasn’t the right descriptor-not like Danny & the Miracles from Kansas in that era. I think back in those days, Frieder’s Michigan squads always fell short of expectations.
 

topos

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Courtney Lee and Tyrone Brazzleton. I already loved March Madness but those guys were the epitome of what the tourney is all about. Hilltoppers!
 

cjbfbp

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Ed Pinckney when he had to go up against Patrick Ewing and led Villanova to the win. Loved the little fat coach too--Rollie Massimino (?)
That certainly was one of the most thrilling (and inspiring) championship games. Georgetown played well enough to win the championship but Villanova played an almost perfect game.
 

cjbfbp

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The ‘80s was definitely the greatest decade of college basketball ever. The talent was insane, and they regularly stayed in college for 3-4 years before going pro. Watch the Requiem for the Big East 30 for 30 to remind yourself how magical college hoops was then, in that conference and across the country.
I would agree. It was also the decade of very close championship games. Beginning in 1982, here were the results:

82- UNC over Georgetown by 1
83 -NC State over Houston by 2
84- Georgetown over Houston by 9 (this was the exception in the streak)
85 - Villanova over Georgetown by 2
86 - Louisville over Duke by 3
87 - Indiana over Syracuse by 1
88 - Kansas over Oklahoma by 4
89 - Michigan over Seton Hall by 1 in OT
 

otter

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My first memory of being into the tournament was Artis Gilmore and the Jacksonville State team in 1970. Out of nowhere they made the finals by playing the game "above the rim".
 
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