7 basketball books for March Madness and beyond

Here are excerpts from seven books by some of the biggest names – coaches and players – in college basketball.

6. “March 1939: Before the Madness – the Story of the First NCAA Basketball Champions”

By Terry Frei

Taylor Trade Publishing

264 pages

(The University of Oregon "Tall Firs," as the school's basketball team became known, won the first NCAA tournament in 1939 under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Howard Hobson.)

“The center jump after every basket had been eliminated before the 1937-38 season, changing the game’s tempo and giving an advantage to coaches, including [Oregon’s] Howard Hobson, who emphasized pushing the pace in a patterned fast break, trying to get down the floor quicker than the defenders, even after opposition baskets. And if the [Oregon] Webfoots didn’t get a fast-break bucket, their set plays also were fun at a breakneck pace. Players who could do such things as palm the ball, maneuver, run rather than lope, and accurately shoot one-handed on the mover were revolutionizing basketball. The Webfoots, with All-American and virtually ambidextrous one-handed-shot wizard Laddie Gale, were at the forefront.”

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