At no other time does the NCAA brand shine brighter than in the month of March. As March Madness begins, NCAA becomes synonymous with terms like “bracket buster”, “the big dance”, and our favorite “Cinderella”. The NCAA tournament is one of the purest and greatest spectacles in American sports, and as the manufacturer of the champ trophy, we are proud to create the symbol of this noble achievement. All the focus is on the athletes who play their guts out without regard to the size of their school’s athletic budget or the pecking order of their respective conference.
One of our employees played in the dance many years ago and shares her experience here:
“Rewind to March 1992 and my sophomore year at the University of Maryland. We made it to the Sweet 16. I was so excited but nervous because we had some great teams in our region but as a number two seed, we felt confident.
We walked on the court with our first opponent, Purdue University who was hosting the regional and also had the current longest home winning streak in the nation, University of Tennessee and Western Kentucky. The Tennessee/WKU game was first and WKU got an upset over Tennessee. My teammates and I saw Tennessee’s faces of disbelief and sadness as they walked back to the locker room and we all knew we did not want to have the same feeling.
As I got to play in my first Sweet Sixteen game, it was one of the most exciting things I would ever experience. Even better was the win against a packed house of Purdue fans.
We advanced to the Elite Eight with a chance to go to the Final Four. As we had our final practice before the big game I noticed a couple of people I did not recognize waiting for us to finish practice. I asked one of my teammates who it was and she replied, “They are here to measure us for our Final Four rings.”
“Even though U of M would fall short of our goal and lose to Western Kentucky, the whole experience is one that I will never forget.”
Monica Finley- VP of Merchandising -MTM
The NCAA Basketball Tournament is competition at its purest that leaves one team holding the trophy at the end- the undisputed champion. Next week, basketball fans throughout the land will be fighting back tears as season highlights are replayed to the tune of “One Shining Moment.” The NCAA Championship trophy is hoisted in the air as the ultimate symbol of pure competition. Recognition at its finest.