nba 2k12March Madness has descended upon us. For those of you not familiar with this, March Madness refers to the NCAA college men’s basketball tournament or the NCAA college women’s basketball tournament that both happen every spring. If your house is anything like mine, basketball has now taken over every television and computer screen. Videogame basketball is even happening!

One of the favorites to be played in my house is NBA 2K12. The NBA 2K series lets you utilize real player rankings and press conferences to talk up the rankings of your player(ie. get more endorsements, money, and a better draft spot), learn who the famous players were that year and in previous years, and even learn more about how basketball statistics work. The 2K12 version of this game allows you to pick from the greatest NBA teams of all time and even lets you see the rosters, which show the players who were actually playing during that time. If you’re more interested in the current players, the previous years’ rosters have all been included as well.

Don’t have a Wii and are looking for this game in a different platform? Or maybe you’re looking for a more up-to-date version of this game with more current players? If yes, then head to the library catalog and search “nba 2k*” and that will pull up results for the other versions of this game, (for example: NBA 2K13, NBA 2K14, and NBA 2K15), as well as different platforms: Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Playstation 4. Any questions? Visit or call the library and our reference librarians call help you.

woodenWooden is a provocative and revelatory new biography of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, by one of America’s top college basketball writers

No college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and ’70s capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his “Pyramid of Success.”

Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports has written the definitive biography of Wooden, an unflinching portrait that draws on archival research and more than two hundred interviews with players, opponents, coaches, and even Wooden himself. Davis shows how hard Wooden strove for success, from his All-American playing days at Purdue through his early years as a high school and college coach to the glory days at UCLA, only to discover that reaching new heights brought new burdens and frustrations. Davis also reveals how at the pinnacle of his career Wooden found himself on questionable ground with alumni, referees, assistants, and even some of his players. His was a life not only of lessons taught, but also of lessons learned. Woven into the story as well are the players who powered Wooden’s championship teams – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard, and others – many of whom speak frankly about their coach. The portrait that emerges from Davis’s remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today. (description from publisher)

While I know some Big Ten fans that might argue the “last great”, there’s no question that one of the greatest games in the history of college basketball took place on March 28, 1992, the final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. The 17,848 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and the millions watching on TV could say they saw the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball. But it wasn’t just the final play of the game – an 80-foot inbounds pass from Grant Hill to Christian Laettner with 2.1 seconds left in overtime – that made Duke’s 104-103 victory so memorable. The Kentucky and Duke players and coaches arrived at that point from very different places, each with a unique story to tell.

In The Last Great Game , acclaimed ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski tells their stories in vivid detail, turning the game we think we remember into a drama filled with suspense, humor, revelations and reverberations. The cast alone is worth meeting again: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Bobby Hurley, Jamal Mashburn, Christian Laettner, Sean Woods, Grant Hill, and Bobby Knight. Celebrating the game’s 20th anniversary, The Last Great Game isn’t a book just for Duke or Kentucky or even basketball fans. It’s a book for any reader who can appreciate that great moments in sports are the result of hard work, careful preparation, group psychology, and a little luck. (description from the publisher)

If you like basketball, then look for our March Madness display. Not only do we have books about college basketball and the final four, but  also about the pro teams and individual biographies. There’s a new Rick Pitino title that should prove popular, Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0, but I also found a few other gems hidden in the stacks.

I’d never envisioned the author of Prince of Tides and Beach Music as being particularly athletic, but My Losing Season by Pat Conroy is his rendition of what happened on the court during his senior year of college at the Citadel.  It reads more like a novel than a basketball book, and if you’ve liked his other works, you’ll like this, too.  One unexpected tidbit is a reference to his father playing basketball at St. Ambrose, right here in Davenport, Iowa!

Counting Coup: A True Story of Honor and Basketball on the Little Big Horn, by Larry Colton, also reads like fiction.  This  story  is a journalist’s peek into the profound effect of girls’ basketball on an impoverished  Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.  Though he focuses on one especially talented player, Sharon LaForge, he also brings the reader along into the struggles of her family and her teammates as well.

pitino conroy counting-coup

March Madness beginsWith yesterday’s announcement of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brackets, March Madness can officially begin. Have you got your bracket filled out yet? Most newspaper sports sections print a bracket, but there are also many online sites that allow you to join or create a group. My nephew has created a group on Yahoo’s Basketball Tournament Pick’em for the family for several years; after the lineups are announced on Sunday, he sends an invitation to each of us with a password. We pick our winners by the deadline (tip-off of the first game on Thursday); Yahoo takes care of keeping track of points and who’s leading in the group (our family has been continually amused by the fact that my sister-in-law beats out her sports-loving husband and sons almost every year)

College basketball has inspired some excellent books that bring the color and drama of the game to you. John Feinstein has written some of the best including Season on the Brink about Indiana and coach Bobby Knight’s run through the Big Ten schedule, The Last Amateurs about Division I basketball and A March to Madness about the Atlantic Coast Conference. Other books worth reading include To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever by Will Blyth about the Duke-North Carolina rivalry, Cinderella: inside the Rise of Mid-Major College Basketball by Michael Litos and The Men of March: a Season Inside the Lives of College Basketball Coaches by Brian Curtis.

And don’t forget, the womens NCAA Tournament is also being held beginning March 22 and concluding April 8. More information, including schedules and results for all collegiate championships can be found at NCAA.com.