Celebrating 75 years and Ware's Top 10
Final Four flavor: Ware taking a rest, 'Men at Work' divided
ATLANTA -- The flavor and details surrounding Atlanta and the Final Four on Friday include 75 Years of March Madness winners, Kevin Ware taking a rest the day after his Letterman appearance, a lesser-known injured player and some Men at Work."
Christian Laettner is trying to be a good role model for his three children.
So the former Duke star said he hasn't shown the highlights of the play when he caught the full-court pass from Grant Hill, turned and made the last-second winning shot to beat Kentucky 104-103 in the 1992 East Regional final.
"People already think I have a big ego and big head," he said. "I don't want my children thinking that. But whenever my dad is in town he sneaks the DVD in and makes them watch a little bit of it."
Laettner was back in the Final Four spotlight on Friday as he was honored for his starring role in the NCAA tournament's most memorable moment, as voted on by fans.
Laettner, who played in four national semifinals and won two NCAA championships at Duke, also was named one of the top 15 players in the tournament's 75 years.
Day 2 of the Final Four schedule of events kicked off Friday with Indiana's undefeated 1976 team honored as part of the celebration of 75 Years of March Madness.
Head coach Bob Knight and six players from the team -- Tom Abernathy, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner, Jim Crews, Scott May and Bobby Wilkerson -- reflected on the team's 32-0 season. It's the most recent undefeated season in college basketball.
"I don't think there's ever been a better representative of collegiate athletes than these kids," Knight said.
The Final Four was just gaining steam as a big national event in 1976 and the NCAA tournament included only 32 teams.
A room packed with reporters hoping to interview injured Louisville Kevin Ware had to settle for one of his best friends on the Cardinals team.
On Friday, Ware and forward Chane Behanan were scheduled to field questions together, but the decision was made to give Ware a day to rest his surgically repaired right leg when he fell asleep at the team's dinner table on Thursday night.
"Once he gets one minute to relax, he was just dozing at the table and he went on to his room to go to sleep," Behanan said.
Louisville spokesman Kenny Klein said Ware needed Friday's rest so he can attend Saturday's semifinal game against Wichita State.
WARE'S TOP 10 LIST
In case you missed it, injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware made an appearance on David Letterman on Thursday night and was featured on the show's regular Top 10 list.
The category was the top 10 things going through Ware's mind when he suffered the gruesome compound fracture on his right leg Sunday against Duke. He had surgery on his leg after a bone protruded about six inches through his skin after landing awkwardly trying to block a shot.
The No. 1 item on his Top 10 list: "At least my bracket's not busted."
Presumably, Ware picked Louisville to win the championship.
Wichita State's Evan Wessel certainly can empathize with Kevin Ware.
Ware has been in the spotlight ever since breaking his leg in the regional final against Duke, while Wessel has been forced to watch the Shockers' remarkable Final Four run from the bench after having surgery to repair a broken bone in his right hand.
Wessel, from Wichita, started the Shockers' first eight games before getting hurt.
"I have the utmost respect for Kevin Ware," Wessel said, "and I don't want to see that happen to anybody, and obviously my injury wasn't as severe as his was, but I know how he feels."
Wessel is part of a Wichita State dynasty. His grandfather, Evert Wessel, played basketball from 1956-59, and his father, Todd, played football when the school still had a program.
The school has applied for a medical redshirt, so Wessel will still have three seasons of eligibility. But then again, the Final Four could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
"The whole atmosphere at the Final Four has been great," Wessel said, "and whether you're playing or not you're going to remember this for the rest of your life."
MEN AT WORK
The cast of the TBS sitcom Men at Work is split when it comes to who they think will win the national championship.
Danny Masterson and Adam Busch believe Syracuse will walk away with the crown. James Lesure is taking Louisville while Michael Cassidy is going with Wichita State.
The cast is in Atlanta promoting the second season of their sitcom, which premiered Thursday.
But the four main characters of the show also plan to catch some of the festivities surrounding the Final Four and are looking to attending the games at the Georgia Dome.