Behind The ScenesNCAAB

An exhausted Jeff Goodman reflects on his four-day hoops journey

Omaha, Neb.: (L) Jeff Goodman watches film with Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky.

(Photo courtesy Jeff Goodman)
(Photo courtesy Jeff Goodman/ESPN)

ESPN Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman made four stops in four states in four days to provide ESPN.com Insider Access into the first weekend of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

He tried to show different perspectives: the ultimate underdog (Day 1: No. 16-seed Hampton in Louisville, Ky.); a former college star making his return to the tourney as a coach (Day 2: Buffalo’s Bobby Hurley, whose team was in Columbus, Ohio); a top player (Day 3: Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, whose team was playing in Omaha, Neb.); and the family of a top player (Day 4: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, playing in Charlotte, N.C.).

Goodman said: “I am so tired — and part of the reason is that I was coming off a six-day trip to Las Vegas for the WCC [West Coast Conference] and Pac-12 tourneys. And no, I wasn’t at the clubs — but I was worried about news breaking so I left my phone on and I’d get texts and calls at 5:30 am local time.”

He averaged less than four hours of sleep per night on the trip, “but it was well worth it,” Goodman said. “It was a blast. The Hampton team and coach Buck Joyner were so appreciative and entertaining. Bobby Hurley was sarcastic and got me to drink three Red Bulls. Frank Kaminsky crushed me in FIFA and the Okafor family was as upbeat and provided the energy I needed on the final day.”

Goodman will be a part of ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, joining the network’s studio analysts in Bristol, Conn., leading into the Sweet 16 games this weekend.

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