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Crum, Hancock, Pratt among panelists for Spalding’s 10th annual Bracketology fundraiser

Steve Jones

March Madness is almost here. After Selection Sunday, the Spalding Bracketology event, once again, will have you covered on everything you need to know about the upcoming NCAA Tournament and the outlook for our local Division I teams.

Legendary University of Louisville coach Denny Crum will highlight the panel of basketball luminaries who will take the stage on March 12 – the day after the NCAA draw – for the 10th annual Spalding Bracketology fundraiser at Freedom Hall.

It’s a key event to support Spalding’s Division III athletic department and an opportunity for basketball fans to hear from hoops experts while having a chance at great prizes and auction items.

In addition to Crum, who is once again the honorary host of Spalding Bracketology, this year’s panelists include former U of L player Luke Hancock, former University of Kentucky player Mike Pratt, former Crum assistant coach Jerry Jones, former Cincinnati star Roger McClendon and former WNBA All-Star Kym Hampton.

WHAS-840 radio personalities Tony Cruise and Terry Meiners will also be on stage to offer their insights.

The panel will discuss the tournament field and college basketball in general and recount stories from their days on the court.

Hampton is a new addition to the Bracketology lineup. A Kentucky Miss Basketball runner-up from Iroquois High School, she led the state in scoring and rebounding as a senior before an All-American career at Arizona State.

Hampton remains the only basketball player in Arizona State history (male or female) to score more than 2,000 points (2,361) and grab more than 1,000 rebounds (1,145) in a career. After a long professional career in Europe, Hampton became the No. 4 pick in the first WNBA Draft and was voted a starter in the first WNBA All-Star game.

“These community leaders are tremendous individuals and wonderful ambassadors for their respective communities,” Spalding Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer Rick Barney said. “We are so fortunate to have them involved in what we are building at Spalding.”

Big Cash Raffle

In addition to hearing from and meeting the celebrity panel of tournament prognosticators, guests will be able to buy tickets for a Big Cash Raffle in which a total of $25,000 will be given away. There will be silent-auction items and autographed sports memorabilia available for bidding.

Raffle tickets, which are on sale now and can be purchased online here, are $100, with a maximum of 1,000 to be sold. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the program will begin at 6, with a first drawing for a $1,000 prize. A second drawing will take place at 6:45 for $1,500. A third will occur at 7:30 for $2,500. a final drawing for the grand prize of $20,000 will take place at 9 p.m.

Why should you take a shot? Your odds are to win are quite good compared with other popular ventures. The odds of picking a perfect bracket are in one in 9.2 quintillion. The odds of winning the Big Cash Raffle are one in 1,000.

Plus, the proceeds all good to help current and future student-athletes. Since its inception, the Spalding Bracketology event has raised over $1 million for the Golden Eagles’ D-III athletic program.

“The fact that this event has grown each year tells us we have developed a unique opportunity for folks to rub elbows with local sports celebrities while enjoying the excitement surrounding the NCAA Tournament,” said Spalding athletic director Roger Burkman, who played on Crum’s 1980 NCAA title team. “It provides a fun environment and spreads awareness about all we have going on at Spalding.”

If your organization is interested in purchasing a table to help support Spalding athletics or want more information on the event, please contact Lisa Bash DeFrees in the athletic office at 502-873-4201 or

Flier for 2018 Spalding Bracketology fundraiser. When? Monday March 12. Where? Freedom Hall. Why? Prodceeds benefit Spalding University Athletics. Join and all-star panel of former coaches and players as they discuss the NCAA Tournament. You can purchase an event table or VIP table, participate in the Big Cash Raffle, silent auction and more.
Spalding’s 10th annual Bracketology event will take place 6-9 p.m. March 12 at Freedom Hall. The fundraiser for Spalding’s NCAA Division III athletics program includes an all-star panel discussing basketball, a Big Cash Raffle, a silent auction and more