LEXINGTON, Ky. (3/7/13) – NCAA.com, managed by Turner Sports, today previewed early results from voting for the All-Time March Madness Players, Team and Moment as part of the season-long celebration of 75 years of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Launched on NCAA.com/March Madness earlier this year, the latest poll front-runners include two buzzer beaters, a historic upset, a match-up of two of the game’s legends and a championship comeback for the ages in the best moments category; championship squads from four of the sport’s powerhouse programs across four decades in the best team category; and more than two dozen icons who dominated the collegiate game in various eras and only need one name to conjure memories of their greatness: Wilt, Oscar, Kareem, Walton, Magic, Michael, Christian and Carmelo.
The final results will be revealed exclusively on NCAA.com on Friday, April 5. In addition, the NCAA will honor the Top 15 All-Time March Madness Players, the Top All-Time March Madness Team, and the Top All-Time March Madness Moment on center court during the semifinal games of the Final Four on Saturday, April 6 in Atlanta.
Seventy-five players, 25 teams and 35 moments were selected for voting.
Based on the voting to date, below are the 30 players with the most votes from fans and NCAA experts, in alphabetical order:
o Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, UCLA
o Steve Alford, Indiana
o Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
o Larry Bird, Indiana State
o Bill Bradley, Princeton
o Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas
o Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State
o Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
o Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
o Elvin Hayes, Houston
o Grant Hill, Duke
o Bobby Hurley, Duke
o Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Michigan State
o Larry Johnson, UNLV
o Michael Jordan, North Carolina
o Christian Laettner, Duke
o Jerry Lucas, Ohio State
o Danny Manning, Kansas
o Joakim Noah, Florida
o Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
o Glen Rice, Michigan
o Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati
o Bill Russell, San Francisco
o Ralph Sampson, Virginia
o Isiah Thomas, Indiana
o David Thompson, North Carolina State
o Kemba Walker, Connecticut
o Bill Walton, UCLA
o Jerry West, West Virginia
o James Worthy, North Carolina
The five teams leading based on fan voting come from a range of eras:
o Indiana University 1975-1976
o University of North Carolina 1981-1982
o Duke University 1991-1992
o University of Kentucky 1995-1996
o University of Kentucky 2011-2012
The top five most memorable moments among fans who have voted so far include:
o 1979: Magic versus Bird
o 1983: NC State’s last-second win over Houston
o 1992: Christian Laettner’s last-second shot to clinch the win over Kentucky
o 1998: Bryce Drew’s last-second shot for Valparaiso to upset Ole Miss
o 2008: Kansas comes back in closing minutes to win title
“We are quite pleased with the voter turnout so far and we’re fascinated at the results,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships. “A handful of moments and a dozen or so of the teams have started to separate themselves from their competition, but the race to determine the Top 15 All-Time Players is tight. Many of the 75 finalists are still in strong contention to make the final list. It includes players who are more than five decades removed from being college stars, Most Outstanding Players at the Final Four in the last decade, and many all-time greats in between. It’s great to see fan participation across the NCAA basketball nation with as many as 21 different schools that have a player in the mix. And multiple players from historic programs like Duke, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina and UCLA are in contention. The good news for fans hoping to see their favorite players make the final cut is that there is still time to make sure their vote is counted.”
Fans can still cast their votes for their top players, team and moment through March 24 by visiting NCAA.com/MarchMadness.
As a special incentive, fans have a chance to enter a sweepstakes at NCAA.com/MarchMadness to win an NCAA Final Four package, including tickets to attend the 2014 Men’s Final Four in Arlington, Texas.
Online fan votes will solely determine the All-Time March Madness Team and the All-Time March Madness Moment, and votes from participating NCAA basketball experts will be combined with fan votes to help determine the Top 15 All-Time March Madness Players. The list of NCAA basketball experts invited to vote consist of: the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, the College Sports Information Directors of America, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, current and former members of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the Final Four Coaches Club (coaches who have coached in previous Final Fours) and the NCAA media partners Turner and CBS.
NCAA.com also features an interactive timeline, including rare photos, videos and stories from each year of the NCAA tournament’s rich history. Additionally, the innovative presentation includes bracket results for every NCAA tournament game ever played.
Information provided by John Hayden
Graphics provided by SurfKY Graphics
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