Jan. 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) are celebrating 75 years of March Madness by commissioning one-of-a-kind paintings celebrating each of the national championship coaches who led their teams into history. Paintings honoring Michigan State coaches Jud Heathcote of the 1979 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship-winning Spartans and Tom Izzo of the 2000 NCAA Champions were unveiled at Sunday's (Jan. 13) game against Nebraska.
The original art pieces, designed and painted by world-renowned artist Opie Otterstad, are part of a collection of 75 individual paintings, one for each of the 75 national championships from 1939 through 2013. After their initial unveiling last night at the Breslin Center, the original pieces of art are now available via auction at www.ncaa.com/art through Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. Limited edition reproductions will also be made available for purchase via the same website on the same date. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the NABC Foundation, which supports TTRR (Ticket to Reading Rewards), the College Basketball Experience (CBE), and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
"We're pleased to celebrate the crowning achievements of the coaches who have guided their teams to championships over the past 75 years," said Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC. "This collection of artwork will serve as a unique and permanent reminder of these coaches' accomplishments on the court and their incredible contributions to the game of basketball."
"Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo are two of the greatest coaches and teachers in the history of college basketball," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men's basketball. "The NCAA and Michigan State are eternally grateful for their impact on the lives of the student-athletes they coached and are thrilled to honor their place in the tradition of March Madness with these paintings."
For complete information about the NCAA and programs celebrating 75 years of March Madness, visit www.ncaa.com/march-madness.