Review of March 1939: Before the Madness

Author: Terry Frei

This is an excellent book about the Oregon Webfoots and the first NCAA basketball tournament, interesting both in its subject matter and presentation. Frei discusses not only the first NCAA tournament and the team that won it, but other events of the era that give context to the team’s performance. These events include the lead-up to the second NIT tournament, the political scene both in the US and in Europe (on the eve of World War II), and the famous individuals in and around the University of Oregon campus at the time.

The book is relatively short, just under 200 pages, which is a plus–any longer and I would have been bored, any shorter and information may have been left out–and written in grounded language.

The only problem I have with this book is its frequent copyediting errors. There was nothing egregious, but they appeared over and over again and it was, at least to me, noticeable.


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