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March Madness, Then and Now

At this time of the March Madness, Steve Guback, a resident at Greenspring retirement community in Springfield has vivid memories of the 1959 tournament in which California beat West Virginia, the 1976 reigning, undefeated season of Indiana University, and the 1979 famed Magic Johnson vs. Larry Byrd showdown. He experienced these in person.

Guback was a sportswriter with The Washington Evening Star and covered his first conference tournament in 1959. From then on, he covered the NCAA tournaments from Round 1 through the tournament’s championship game. An alumnus of Indiana University, Guback was the president of the United States Basketball Writers Association in 1976 when Indiana University won the conference championship. Today, they are still the only team in history to have an undefeated season.

This year, Guback will be watching the beginning of the tournament from his cruise ship cabin in the Caribbean; he sets sail Tuesday morning and returns March 28.

Also of note, Guback was inducted into the United States Basketball Writers Hall of Fame in 1989, was elected to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and was voted the Virginia/DC Sportswriter of the Year three times. He has served on the Professional Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, on the Board of Directors for the United States Olympic Committee, and as president of the Atlantic Coast Sportswriters Association.

Guback has worked in some capacity with the Washington Redskins for 55 years since covering his first game in 1959; he still serves as a spotter in the press box.