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Tales of Madness
There's probably no stage in sports where the stakes are higher than the NCAA basketball tournament. One shot can decide an entire season. But behind every triumph and heartbreak, there's a story. With this in mind, The Players' Tribune presents Tales of Madness, a series of first-person accounts from iconic basketball players throughout history, recalling their most memorable NCAA tournament experiences.
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Waking Up
Waking Up
Alonzo MourningWaking Up

Georgetown was picked to win it all that year. We were cooking with high grease going into the NCAA Tournament. First Round: Georgetown...


Shock the World
Shock the World
Khalid El-AminShock the World

“We plan to shock the world today.” Just seven words. As I said them, I didn’t know it was going to be that big of a deal.


Kid From Flint
Kid From Flint
Mateen CleavesKid From Flint

Someone handed me a brand new white hat that said "Michigan State 2000 National Champions" on it. I was trying to hold back tears. I...


What Could've Been
What Could've Been
Baron DavisWhat Could've Been

I just kind of felt like that was going to be my breakout game. I was thinking, If you’re going to make a name for yourself, you’ve...


Don't Call It Luck
Don't Call It Luck
Aaron CraftDon't Call It Luck

The game was a bit tighter than some might expect for a No. 10 versus No. 2, but any bracketologist could tell you sometimes seedings go...


Living in the Moment
Living in the Moment
Jameer NelsonLiving in the Moment

One hundred twenty-five games, 4,311 minutes: That’s the amount of official game time I spent giving it my all while at St. Joe’s, the...


Scared to Death
Scared to Death
Nevil ShedScared to Death

After defying all expectations and finishing 23-1 during the regular season, we were in the middle of a close game against Cincinnati...


Home Court Advantage
Home Court Advantage
Solomon HillHome Court Advantage

We felt overlooked. We were a team that nobody really gave a chance. The year before, we all felt responsible for being the first...


The Escape
The Escape
Michael Carter-WilliamsThe Escape

During the second half of the Cal game in the Round of 32, I looked up into the stands and saw that my mom was crying. I was so confused.


40–0
40–0
Brittney Griner40–0

When I went to Baylor on a basketball scholarship — and when I thought about the future as a freshman — one achievement I wanted more...