San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.
Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.
But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.
SIMON: Madness, sheer Madness. Two-seed Georgetown ousted by the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles; that's a school, not an endangered species. And Harvard shows New Mexico that their $30 billion endowment can be used to recruit some good basketball players, too. But maybe no team in sports is more dominant than the Golden Gophers of Minnesota - women's hockey.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been a lot of places since his glory days with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for Buffalo and Dallas and in his retirement, he returned to his hometown of Walla Walla, Washington, where he founded a winery. Bledsoe has not forgotten his New England fans. In fact, he wants people in Massachusetts to be able to buy his wine and, for that matter, other wines online.
Whoever first said history repeats itself probably never expected Harvard to win a game in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It's never happened before. The Ivy League school was a number 14 seed, which is about as low as you'd expect, and the Crimson stunned number three seed, New Mexico, 68-62 - nor was it the only upset yesterday. Let's hear about some of the other games, starting with NPR's Tom Goldman in San Jose, California.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: And I'm Mike Pesca in Lexington, Kentucky where Marquette, Louisville, Butler and Colorado State all advanced. That was the big story for sure, but there was something else that had all the players talking. Other than the memories of a lifetime and the chance to keep living their dreams and all that, there was - as Jamil Wilson pointed out to this Marquette teammate Vander Blue - this amazing room they just walked by in the hallway.
JAMIL WILSON: It was, like, nuts. And me and Vander were, like, yo, we gotta see the locker room.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The first full day of March Madness is upon us. Half of the field of 64 men's college basketball teams have played or are currently playing today. NPR's Mike Pesca is in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the early round sites for the NCAA tournament and he joins us. Hi, Mike.
For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.