The next time Joakim Noah busts a move, it might be to a tune even Phil Mushnick could hum. From the New York Times’ Peter Hyman.

The composer, David Barrett, was once a struggling folk singer. Having finished a show in late March 1986 at the Varsity Inn in East Lansing, Mich., he was watching a Boston Celtics game at the bar when an attractive woman sat beside him after her shift.

œShe was the most beautiful waitress on the planet, Barrett said. œThe kind of woman who is so good looking that you don™t even bother talking to her.

But the soft-spoken Barrett, then 31, tried to break the ice with an exposition on the poetic majesty of Larry Bird™s talents.

œI looked up at the TV to watch a fast break and when I turned back around, she had left without saying a word, he said.

Barrett was determined to overcome the snub by making the woman understand how it felt to play basketball œin the zone ” by writing a song. He left the bar with the beginnings of a melody and what he hoped would be a good working title, œOne Shining Moment. The next morning, Barrett said, he wrote lyrics for the 3-minute-45-second tune in 20 minutes on a paper napkin.

Tomorrow night, that song will be the musical endnote to the N.C.A.A. men™s basketball tournament for the 20th consecutive year. œOne Shining Moment has become œthe anthem of college basketball, the CBS announcer Jim Nantz said.

œIt™s the official coronation now, more so than the hardware, Nantz added, speaking by phone Thursday from Atlanta, site of the Final Four this weekend.