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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 Gr 4–8—Each chapter of this NCAA basketball overview explores a different facet of the competition, such as the history of interscholastic college basketball from the first match-up in 1895 (Minnesota's School of Agriculture defeated Hamline University nine to three) to the current 68-team March Madness spectacle. Another chapter is devoted to the greatest games, such as University of North Carolina's triple overtime victory over Kansas and the great Wilt Chamberlain in 1957. A chapter on "Memorable Moments" highlights the first team to start five black players, the Texas Western (now UTEP) Miners, who defeated Kentucky for the championship in the face of brutal racial hostility during and after their appearance. Sidebars outline related subjects such as the history of winning teams cutting down the nets or the significance of tournament brackets. Ample photographs span both the contemporary (the 2015 semi-final between Kentucky and Wisconsin) and the archival (a 1968 rebound by UCLA's Lew Alcindor, who would soon be known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Though brief mention is made of the women's tournament, the focus is strictly the men's game. VERDICT Though the book's appeal will be limited to serious basketball fans, the historical perspective and engaging presentation make it a solid choice.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2016 Arriving just in time for March Madness is this fresh look at the NCAA men’s division I college basketball tournament and, in particular, the Final Four championship games. The book opens with a quick historical overview, from an interesting account of the sport’s first intercollegiate game in 1895 to an action photo taken during a 2015 semifinal match-up between Duke and Michigan State. Next, Doeden recaps the greatest Final Four games of all time, followed by the most memorable moments in Final Four history. Finally, he discusses recent changes and hypothetical future developments in intercollegiate athletics. The book’s wide format allows the text and photos to appear side by side. The older photos are in black-and-white, while later pictures are in color. With vivid, play-by-play descriptions of pivotal games and final points, basketball fans will find plenty to enjoy here. Drawing on his years in sports journalism, Doeden writes colorful accounts of the action, while filling in background on important players, past and present. An informative, enjoyable addition to the sports shelves. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.