Good Question: NCAA Tournament ‘Reply All’

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By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

Why do teams cut down the net after a championship win?

“We did it three times,” said Tommy Hannon, a starter for the NCAA Champion University of St. Thomas basketball team. “Once for the conference championship, once for going to the Final Four, and once for the national championship,” he said.

According to MentalFloss.com, the trend started in 1947 with North Carolina State coach Everett Case.

Mental Floss cites a USA Today article from 2005, which explained that Coach Case was so thrilled with the North Carolina State’s Southern Conference title win, he decided to cut down the nets as a souvenir.

Because this was a new thing, there were no ladders, so the players had to lift up the coach so he could cut down the net.

Author Tim Peeler, who wrote Legends of N.C. State Basketball argued that Case didn’t start that tradition in 1947, rather that he brought it with him from Indiana, where he was a high school coach.

Either way, the moment with NC State in 1947 made the net-cutting a national phenomenon.

What’s the history of “One Shining Moment?”

The signature song played at the end of the Championship game is the work of composer David Barrett.

He claims he wrote the song in 20 minutes, on a napkin, in 1986.

The song might have faded away, except for the fact that Barrett went to high school with Armen Keteyian, who grew up to be a CBS Sports reporter.

Keteyian took a demo tape of the song, and shared it with network producers.

CBS bought it to use in a highlight package it was going to air after Super Bowl XXI. But the broadcast ran long, so the network used it after the 1987 Final Four.

It was a huge hit, and CBS kept it around.

In 1987, Barrett provided the vocals, then Teddy Pendergrass took over. Luther Vandross recorded his version in the mid 1990’s. Jennifer Hudson sang the song for the 2010 championship package, but it was a disaster, because fans were upset that there was so much Hudson in the video version, rather than highlights. In 2011, the Vandross version came back.

How much money does the championship team’s college win?

No more than the 2nd place team’s college. The NCAA awards money for each game the teams play in. The two teams in the championship game both played six games. Each game is worth $1.4 million, so the total is $8.4 million.

But there’s a catch. The money doesn’t go directly to the school, rather it goes to their conference. So Butler’s money goes to the Horizon League, which uses it to pay Butler’s NCAA expenses, and then takes the rest of the money and splits it among all the teams in the league. Similarly, the University of Connecticut’s money goes to the Big East conference, which shares the money in the same way.

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