On Monday night in Atlanta, with the conclusion of the Final Four bringing the NCAA Tournament to a close, one team will hoist up the national championship trophy.
But this week, that all-important piece of hardware is in its birthplace on the southeast side of Oklahoma City, at the headquarters of MTM Recognition.
MTM Recognition is a well-respected trophy manufacturer created in 1971, producing some of the most prestigious awards in sports, including all NCAA Championship Awards and 22 Bowl Game trophies.
For this weekend's event, they produced a special edition of the championship trophy, complete with a logo commemorating the 75th anniversary of the tournament.
In addition, the company was asked to produce more awards for the celebration, which will be handed out during the event to the top players, All-Time Top Team and Most Memorable Moment in Tournament history.
Oklahoma State's Bob Kurland, who was the Final Four's most outstanding player for back-to-back national champions in the 1940s, will be one of those honored.
“The NCAA was looking for suppliers that could design and administer our championship awards program,” NCAA Director of Operations Michael King said in 2007, after touring MTM Recognition's facilities in the metro and deciding to pair with them. “I was impressed with [MTM's] lean processes, the cleanliness and order within their facility and their commitment to lean manufacturing.”