One of the most surprising moments in my life as a sporting spectator was watching Randy Duck play pro ball for the Brighton Bears. Finding him in England (a guy that had been a hero to me while at Cal) brought a cascade of college basketball memories. Such is my love for this version of the sport. Players remain firmly on my mind years after their amateur careers end.

Duck is one of many players I’ve enjoyed watching in lower professional ranks, and whose disappointing careers do nothing to temper the legacy of their college days. College basketball is perhaps the second best sport out (slightly behind proper football), so with Midnight Madness a few weeks away ESPN releases the perfect companion to early season fandom. ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men’s Game recounts the teams and players that make storied programs. And, offers a ranking system of all-time best schools. Almost required reading.

Available now from Amazon.

I’ll end with this – “Iverson was cool, but I supported Victor Page.”

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