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Valvano, Jordan And The Moments That Define The Madness

photo of the 1963 loyola basketball team with coaches. some of the team are white and some are african american.
Loyola University Archives /

When Mark Mehler and Charles Paikert first met to watch their favorite college basketball teams duke it out, they had no idea it would become a tradition. But year after year the two continued to meet at the same local bar, often times cheering for opposing teams. Journalism was their trade, but college hoops was their passion.

Those worlds met when they co-authored the new book “Madness: The Ten Most Memorable NCAA Basketball Finals” (Sports Publishing/2018). The name may suggest that these were the best, most riveting games, but Mehler and Paikert were more interested in the stories that changed men’s basketball. They detail the 1963 championship that paired all-white Mississippi State against the integrated Loyola University Chicago team. Loyola won that game and shaped college basketball history.

Mehler joins Frank Stasio to talk about the love Jimmy Valvano had for his players, why Dean Smith is one of the best coaches in college basketball and some of the moments that helped shape March Madness.   


Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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