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Spring May Not Be Outside, But It's On The Court

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Spring May Not Be Outside, But It's On The Court

Spring May Not Be Outside, But It's On The Court

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Timothy Lane is not going to tell us about his bracket. He's here instead for our series This Week's Must Read, where we recommend books that relate to the news.

TIMOTHY LANE: The first time I heard of Pete Maravich was from my father. He told me about this college player he used to watch - this crazy good college player. He was so nuts for the game, he could dribble out the side of a moving car. That's the kind of love Pete had for basketball. It's the same kind of love I have, and it's what draws me to the NCAA Tournament every year.

Mark Kriegel got it. He wrote a biography of Pete, called "Pistol: The Life Of Pete Maravich," and he infused it with the same kind of magic you feel watching a great play. Pistol Pete was a standout long before he became professional. He could dribble blindfolded, with gloves on, in theaters while watching a movie. He could make impossible shots that linger in the imagination.

And isn't that why we watch this tournament? Because every single year, something, anything can happen. Someone can hit a turnaround at the buzzer, mid-majors can run into the Final Four, 16 seeds can come within a shot of beating an almighty one.

Pistol Pete had moments like these. In college, he averaged over 44 points a game, but his team never made it to the tournament. Instead of NCAA glory, we're left with murkier memories of Pete: the time he schooled a carnival worker by making shot after shot on one of those hoops that always seems to be rigged; or when he hit a bucket not by looking, just by feel.

In the next three weeks, we want underdogs to win and buzzers beaten. We want kids screaming to the rafters, confetti falling and nets cut. We want to believe anything can happen. Pete gave us that. As one bystander in the book says watching Pistol make an unbelievable shot, it was pure joy.

SIEGEL: The book is "Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich." It was recommended by Timothy Lane. His latest book is called "Rules for Becoming a Legend."

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