FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – A one-of-a-kind painting honoring former University of Arkansas head mens' basketball coach Nolan Richardson and the 1994 national championship basketball team will be unveiled at halftime of the Razorbacks' game against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, Feb. 2. Following the unveiling at halftime, the painting will be available for the public to view on the south concourse of Bud Walton Arena.
The painting was commissioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to celebrate the 75th anniversary of March Madness. One painting is being created for each of the 74 national champions with a 75th painting to be completed after the 2013 NCAA Championship game.
"We are pleased that one of college basketball's legendary coaches and a signature moment in Razorback Basketball history are being recognized as part of the 75th anniversary of March Madness," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long says. "Coach Nolan Richardson helped lead our men's basketball team to the pinnacle of college basketball culminating with the 1994 NCAA Championship. It is fitting that this work of art celebrating Coach Richardson and our national championship be unveiled at Bud Walton Arena in front of the Razorback fans."
The original art piece is being designed and painted by artist Opie Otterstad and will be auctioned off online starting on Feb. 2 at www.NCAA.com/ART. Limited edition reproductions will also be made available for purchase at the same website. A portion of the proceeds for the auction will benefit the NABC Foundation, which supports TTRR (Ticket to Reading Rewards), the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
"Coach Richardson is one of the greatest coaches and teachers in the history of college basketball," Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men's basketball said. "The NCAA and Arkansas are eternally grateful for his impact on the lives of the student-athletes he coached and thrilled to honor Richardson's place in the tradition of March Madness with this painting."
Fans looking for additional information on the NCAA and programs celebrating 75 years of March Madness should visit www.ncaa .com/march-madness.