Reaching for the NCAAs

Nothing succeeds in college basketball like success. I was thinking about this as I interviewed Dino Gregory recently.

He was talking about how important it was for him as a kid (he was 12) to watch the Terps win the national championship in 2002. By the way, if this makes you feel old, you're not alone.

Anyway, Gregory was saying how this made him want to attend Maryland so that he could get into the NCAA tournament like Juan Dixon and perhaps make a splash.

The tournament is so much a part of America's sports fabric. Schools regularly qualifying for the tournament have a big recruiting advantage because so many kids grew up watching it on television and attached their dreams to it.

I wrote a story on this today.

You think success doesn't beget success? Consider what happened to George Mason after it advanced to the 2006 Final Four:

Admissions inquiries soared 350 percent, out-of-state applications rose 40 percent and the school estimates it got nearly $7 million in overwhelmingly positive free media coverage.

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