INDIANAPOLIS -- In celebration of the 75th anniversary of March Madness, the NCAA has released lists of top players, teams and moments in the men's basketball championship tournament.
Larry Bird was named to the NCAA's list of the Top 75 players all-time in March Madness while the 1979 NCAA Championship Game between Indiana State and Michigan State was listed as one of top 35 moments in the history of the tournament.
For the first time, 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.
"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, 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.