“Based on archival material as well as a wealth of other primary and secondary sources, Making March Madness provides an in-depth account of a nearly 30-year period of college men’s basketball postseason championship tournaments. The book focuses primarily on the NCAA and NIT, but includes other, smaller tournaments as well. Writing chronologically, Carlson (Hope College) examines the people, decisions, teams, venues, rules, finances, games, and policies that shaped the growth and decline of postseason tournaments in the first half of the 20th century. The strength of this in-depth coverage, however, is also at times a weakness; the detail tends to get descriptive rather than providing a broader historical or cultural context One exception is Carlson’s excellent discussion of the racial climate in the US and how each tournament dealt with racial exclusion or inclusion within a larger historical context. A highlight of the work is Carlson’s examination of these tournaments during the war years and the impact WW II had on players, colleges, and the tournaments, such as charity events and teams’ other contributions to the war effort. An engaging read.”
—A. Curtis, Choice Reviews, June 2018
Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.