The Illinois High School Association Boys' Basketball Tournament
by Scott Johnson, Curt Herron, Pat Heston, Jeff Lampe, and Bob Leavitt
It’s called "March Madness"
A lot has changed since the Illinois High School Association launched its first boys' basketball tournament in 1908. But some things remain the same – boys in schoolyards, driveways and haylofts still dream of making the winning shot at the buzzer, coaches still hope against hope they'll bring their boys to state, and parents and fans still live and die with every bucket, buzzer, loose ball, and whistle that shapes the fate of their hometown team.
High school basketball is more than merely a sport in Illinois. Here, it's a passion, a dream, and a way of life. America's Original March Madness has helped define our state and shape its future, not just sending spectacular athletes to colleges and NBA teams across the country, but developing the sport of basketball from infancy to art form and changing the state tournament from a low-key, one-gym affair to big-time entertainment.
To capture 100 Years of Madness, it took five dedicated authors, over 600 fabulous photos and illustrations, and more than 300 action-packed pages. Year by year, you'll find stories of controversy and intrigue, sweet revenge and even sweeter victory, dynasties and Cinderellas, joy and heartbreak in the smallest towns and the biggest cities. You'll also find names and numbers, box scores, statistics, clippings, pearls of wit and wisdom from the coaches who led the way, and profiles and pictures of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys' Basketball Tournament.
It's all here – every bit of the Madness that makes March the month not to miss in Illinois.
"It's called March Madness. It may be the most contagious ailment in Illinois since the common cold. It strikes everywhere – from Chicago to Cairo, from Galena to Paris – sometime during the third month of the year. It is accompanied by tears – of joy and sorrow – and a distinct increase in the heartbeat. It is not fatal, yet everyone who catches it is infected for life."
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