Tournament Thursday is one of the few non-football sports days throughout the year that lives up to the excitement of a college football Saturday. While I admit that statement is extremely biased, it goes without saying that the opening weekend of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament is simply special. According to MSN's study last March, more people filled out brackets than voted in the 2012 presidential election.
With the tournament tipping off in a few hours, we decided to take a look at some star college football players that crossed over to the hardwood, some rare dual-sport college athletes:
2000-01 North Carolina Basketball
It's rare enough to have one on a team, but the 2000-01 Tar Heels had two football stars on their prestigious basketball team. Julius Peppers, a 2-time football All-American, and Ronald Curry, a record-setting quarterback; BOTH suited up for the basketball Tar Heels. In high school in Virginia, Curry actually out-shined Mike Vick! And of course, Peppers has gone on to a very successful career in the pros.
Here in the Dean Dome, the two football stars connect on an alley-oop to help secure an upset win over top-5 Wake Forest (VIDEO BELOW):
Can you imagine if All-American DE Jadeveon Clowney threw down an alley-oop from QB Connor Shaw to beat a top-5 team? Hello, SportsCenter Hall of Fame
5 MORE STARS:
Jackie Robinson, UCLA - yes, THAT Jackie Robinson. Besides his baseball fame, Robinson was a do-it-all football player, leading the Bruins in rushing, passing, and punt returns. He also dominated on the hardwood and even won the NCAA broad jump title in track.
Charlie Ward, Florida State - Besides winning the 1993 Heisman Trophy AND the National Championship, Ward starred on the basketball team, eventually playing in the NBA for the Knicks.
Jim Brown, Syracuse - Brown is considered the greatest lacrosse player ever, and could be argued for the same title in football. He also brought Syracuse to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Donovan McNabb, Syracuse - The famous quarterback also balled in the Carrier Dome, appearing in 18 games for the Orange.
Tony Gonzalez, California - One of the best tight ends ever also played on the 1996-97 Cal basketball team that made the Sweet Sixteen.
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