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Mad to the bone

Even the Bulls lose their you-know-what during the NCAA tourney

March 17, 2014|By Bryan Crawford, For RedEye

For college basketball fans, March Madness is a slice of heaven.

For the guys in the NBA who have moved to cashing checks for hardwood heroics, they enjoy NCAA tournament time as much as anyone.

Except for Tornike Shengelia, everyone on the Bulls roster played in the tournament. Five made it to the Final Four and played in the title game; four walked away with a national title, including Joakim Noah, who earned two.

RedEye asked the Bulls for their favorite March memories.

.

JIMMER FREDETTE, BYU

"You know, there's nothing like playing in the NCAA tournament, but I always remember big shots that guys hit. The one clip they always show is Bryce Drew hitting that game winner when he was at Valparaiso and his teammates all dived on top of him. That was a pretty cool moment."

TAJ GIBSON, USC

"My favorite moment is when we beat Boston College and I went 10-for-10 [shooting from the field]. I almost tied the record."

D.J. AUGUSTIN, Texas

"My favorite moment is playing in the Elite Eight. We played Memphis and I actually went up against D-Rose in that game. But it was in Houston and that's where I was living at the time, plus I was at the University of Texas and we had a lot of fans at the game. So just being there was a great experience."

KIRK HINRICH, Kansas

"I would say my favorite moments were my junior and senior years at Kansas. We won the regionals both years and made it to the Final Four, which is a very exciting moment. My senior year we made it to the national championship game. We thought we had a good chance to win it both years but we weren't able to do it."

MIKE DUNLEAVY JR., Duke

"My favorite moment is winning the national championship in 2001. It was just a great night for Duke University and our team. It's something I'll never forget and it definitely was the crowning moment of my college basketball career."

TONY SNELL, New Mexico

"My favorite March Madness moment was just being able to play on the NBA courts. As a college player, to play on the same courts that you see the guys in the league play on, it's pretty cool. The first time, man, I was nervous. I had the bubble guts and everything. It was crazy. I tried to hide it, but it was hard. But it was a really good experience."

CARLOS BOOZER, Duke

"There's been some great moments. You can go all the way back to Grant Hill's full-court pass to [Christian] Laettner and then he hit the turnaround jumper at the free-throw line. It's hard to pass that one up. I remember watching Melo [Carmelo Anthony] play and his run during the tournament; that was amazing. And I watched Jimmer [Fredette] during his tournament run. I remember when he was at BYU and I was still in Utah with the Jazz and we kept hearing about this dude down the road in Provo and I'm like, 'Yo, who is this kid?' So we want to watch him play one night and I think he had like 37 points and didn't even play the last seven or eight minutes of the game. It was impressive."

Bryan Crawford is a RedEye special contributor.

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