A game ball with the NCAA tournament logo in the background

The long-awaited first day of spring brings more than just wishful thinking of warmer weather. It's also a time when basketball fans across the country start filling out their NCAA basketball tournament brackets, and facility personnel prep their gyms for national stardom.

Helping those facility professionals is Hillyard, a manufacturer of floor care products since 1907 and proud supporter of the NCAA.

In fact, Vice President with Hillyard Companies, Brett Carolus, told St. Joseph Post that they have been a partner with the National Association of Basketball Coaches for several decades. Then this year, they expanded their relationship to become the official and only provider of floor coating and maintenance products for all 2019 NCAA Division I, II, and III Men’s and Women’s Championship games.

Carolus commented that the coating used on the wood floors not only protects them, but it provides traction for players and a high gloss. It's also what provides the squeak as players run up and down the court.

A player in the game for over 100 years, Hillyard knows their way around gym floors. In fact, they're often the first call when schools are in need. That was certainly the case for Pennsylvania-Based Geneva College, the reported birthplace of college basketball.

In 2014, in the middle of basketball season, a pipe burst and destroyed the wood floor. According to a Sanitary Maintenance article, plant supervisors were forced to rebuild from scratch. It made sense that once floors were ready to be sealed, the school chose the company that originally created gym floor finish.

For more about the history of Hillyard and their contribution to basketball, click here.