Tunesday: March Madness

Music and basketball go hand in hand, often influencing one another through fashion and sound. And, as last night was the last day of March Madness, it’s only right to dedicate a Tuneday to one of the largest events in America. Despite Cal’s early elimination, we can still celebrate our love of the game and appreciate all of the ballers out there on the courts. In honor of March Madness, here are some of the most memorable basketball-themed songs.

“Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project

If the Alan Parsons Project knew that this song would be played at literally every basketball game ever, maybe he would have included a few words. First used by the Chicago Bulls as their theme song in the 1990s, “Sirius” has been utilized as an introduction track for tons of basketball teams across almost two decades. It’s two minutes of one of the most hype-sounding introductions, filled with twisty synthesizers and some booming bass that makes you itch for the beat that will never drop. But surely it will take you back to any sporting event you’ve attended during the last 20 years.


“Basketball Jones” by Cheech and Chong

“I took that basketball with me everywhere I went / That basketball was like a basketball to me,” sings Cheech as the basketball-addicted character Tyrone Shoelaces, as he regales a tale of his detrimental love of the game. It takes cues from psychedelic funk and soul, with its driving bass line and Cheech’s high pitched vocals: a staple for anybody who is in love with the game so much that it hurts.

“I Wish” by Skee-Lo 

We’ve all been in Mr. Skee-Lo’s position, wishing that we were a baller or even just a little bit taller, complaining about being picked last during pickup basketball games. This track takes us into the woes of the sport, one that delves into the sad reality that unfortunately not everyone can be proficient, just as Skee-Lo and many of us aren’t, at basketball. Bemoaning his short stature and the fact that he cannot seem to get girls because he can’t ball, Skee-Lo raps over smooth trills and a jazzy bass couching the listener’s ears in a lush trendy sound. In the end, we all wish we were ballers.


“Basketball” by Kurtis Blow

Opening with soulful and sultry vocals of women in chorus with one another progressing into a drum beat that intentionally sounds like basketballs bouncing along to the beat, “Basketball” is the grooviest, most danceable track on this Tunesday. With an interlude where Blow talks over the tune of the “Charge Fanfare” (a sports game staple) about the “old days” of basketball, the track captures attention and transports you right onto the dynamics of the court. Referencing some of the most popular players of the day, such as Dr. J, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Blow raps along to a beat so funky you cannot help but want to hit the hoops.

“NCAAP CBS Theme Song”

Nothing screams March Madness more than the CBS NCAAP Theme song, a true masterpiece of instrumentation and melody. It’s got it all: an eclectic brass movement and sumptuous booming drums that send chills right into the very core, and it’s on Spotify! What’s better than hearing this ring out in your ears between commercial breaks as a commentator says something cliche over a replay of an experienced senior dunking over a nervous first-year while you contemplate moving for the first time in five hours? Absolutely nothing!

You can listen to this week’s Tunesday above. Follow Daily Cal A&E on Spotify!

Contact Kayla Oldenburg at [email protected].