I've always been a big college basketball fan (well, big until the last, say, decade), but the apex of my love for the sport and especially for The NCAA Tournament came in 1990 when the first two rounds were being held for the first time at the Richmond Coliseum.
The night before the first round, I'm at the Richmond Marriott for the radio station helping them produce a VCU talk show since the Rams were the host school for the tournament. I got to thinking, why not ask for a press pass and just go??
Amazingly, I was able to procure one. What's even more amazing is that I convinced my boss to let me get someone to fill in my Friday afternoon drive airshift so I could file live reports from the Richmond Coliseum.
Having no time to secure a sponsor, I told my boss we would do free ads for the latest edition of our "Christian Yellow Pages" that had just released called, "The Light Pages". He said yes.
I missed almost all of the first game that Friday, but arrived in time to see Maurice Newby of Northern Iowa make this insane shot to send third-seeded Missouri packing. By the end of the weekend, we saw Syracuse, Digger Phelps and Notre Dame, and the last game ever coached by Terry Holland at Virginia.
The following year, I began taking vacation days during the first week of the tournament so I could stay home, watch all the action, and record the best moments. And, I LOVED their theme song, which is another story for another time (hint, hint).
Fast forward to March, 1993. I'm home, in my new home, ready for the first round on that Thursday. Imagine my horror when they started the show, and a new song debuted.
WHAT??!?!?! Where's my beloved theme song???
The good news is I settled down, and, it didn't take very long to fall in love with this one, too, even though it can never have the meaning the other one did. So, as the real tournament action gets set to start tomorrow, enjoy this throwback to tournament action gone by!
NOTE: This version was used by CBS Sports from 1993-2003. A more orchestrated version debuted for the 2004 Tournament, and a revised version of that debuted in 2011 when CBS and Turner Sports began its current arrangement.