SI college basketball reporter and CBS studio analyst SETH DAVIS
has written "WHEN MARCH WENT MAD: THE GAME THAT TRANSFORMED BASKETBALL
," which chronicles the '79 Michigan State-Indiana State NCAA men's basketball championship game that featured MAGIC JOHNSON
and LARRY BIRD
. In a special to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Michael MacCambridge wrote the game "elevated the sport to the big time," and Davis "captures an age before ESPN was the colossus of sports media, when much that was wonderful and distinctive about college basketball was witnessed only by those in attendance." Davis offers a "well-reported account" of the game, and the "fine, fair book is a vivid portrait of a time when we knew a lot less about the sport and, because of that, loved it in a different way" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/21
). Davis said, "It’s amazing how many times over the last couple of years when I’ve told people I’m doing a book about the Magic versus Bird championship game, they tell me, ‘I remember where I was when I watched this game’" ("The Early Show," CBS, 3/26
DIAMOND DIARIES: In Toronto, Garth Woolsey wrote former MLBer RON DARLING's recall in "THE COMPLETE GAME: REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL, PITCHING, AND LIFE ON THE MOUND" is "20/20, his reflections revealing for anyone interested in a true inside view of his sport." The book is one "for the curious and the purist, full of anecdotes but always focused" (TORONTO STAR, 3/22)....In a special to the N.Y. TIMES BOOK REVIEW, former MLBer JIM BOUTON wrote N.Y. Times writer BRUCE WEBER's "AS THEY SEE 'EM" is a "wonderfully detailed look at the craft of umpiring," and for "future aspirants, the first step should be reading" the book. Weber "spent a good part of three years in 'the Land of Umpires,' hanging out with them" (N.Y. TIMES BOOK REVIEW, 3/22)....ALLEN BARRA's new book "YOGI BERRA: ETERNAL YANKEE" is a "finely tuned portrait of a larger-than-life figure." The book is an "excellent read" as Barra "builds a case that Yogi is the best catcher ever" (SI, 3/30 issue).
POWER STRUGGLE: In Atlanta, Chip Towers noted "BEHIND THE HEDGES: BIG MONEY AND POWER POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA," by the late RICH WHITT, examines the "internal power struggle" between Univ. of Georgia (UGA) President MICHAEL ADAMS and former AD VINCE DOOLEY. It also looks into "how the controversy resulted in the split between the Board of Regents and the UGA Foundation." Adams is "made out to be the bad guy." UGA VP/Public Affairs TOM JACKSON: "The book is old news. It's rehashing issues long since resolved" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/26).
ON THE TRACK: AUTOWEEK's Roger Hart notes J.J. O'MALLEY's "DAYTONA 24 HOURS" details the "more than 40 years of the American answer to the 24 Hours of Le Mans," and first-person accounts from drivers "give the book's readers insights into the challenges of sports-car racing at Daytona" (AUTOWEEK, 3/23 issue).