My March Into The Madness

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most popular events in the sports world. Much like the Super Bowl, it has the power to attract the average non-sports fan to arenas and television sets around the country. The only thing more exciting than office pools, cracking the code on bracketology and watching all the action, is being on the court.

As we settle in to enjoy the madness of this month, NYLiberty.com will sit down with some players to discuss their experience and favorite moments in the NCAA Tournament throughout their collegiate careers.

Sure, not every one of them was able to walk away with a ring or Championship trophy, but as youíll discover itís more about being there than anything else.

Today, weíre chatting with forward Cathrine Kraayeveld. As a Duck at Oregon, Kraayeveld posted a career average of 11 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

What was your most memorable moment of being part of the NCAA Tournament?
I can say being a part of the entire experience, to play in the NCCA Tournament was pretty much IT for me. Getting to play against the best teams in the country that you normally donít get to play was exciting as well. I didnít get to play my freshman year, but I did my fifth so that made up for it.

How did you prepare yourself for such a highlighted event?
I took it one game at a time. I felt that consistency was key. I kept the same routine from the regular season and didnít change a thing. I felt that it was important that my approach should be the same for every game I played in.

What did you take most from any loss in the Tournament?
I wanted to make sure that I was happy that we made it that far, but not too satisfied so that my work ethic increased dramatically for the next year.

As a team, what were some of your game day preparations for the tournament games?
Our game day preparations didnít change from the regular season from what I can remember. We ate as a team, had shoot around and stayed relax for the game. One thing that I thought was exciting was when we had to do media availability, that was something different, but enjoyable.

Do you feel like your play improved during the Tournament?
I think everyone who is really competitive just seems to find that extra little energy and boost needed to play against the top teams in the country. I think everyone stepped up their game because itís a ďone and doneĒ situation.

Has there been anything thatís come close in life to the excitement of playing in the Tournament?
Thatís a really hard question! I think everyoneís perception on how important the Tourney is to him or her in the grand scheme of things, is different. I would have to say at the time, because basketball is very important to every college player that excitement is like no other and the level is through the roof.

Be there to tip-off the 2009 WNBA regular season with Cathrine and the Liberty on June 7 in The World's Most Famous Arena. Click here for more information about summer ticket options.