A Dose of NCAA Basketball History The National Collegiate Athletic Association was the trendsetter in ambiguity and victory. It is has undergone a lot of ups and downs. From the very founder of the game which all basketball enthusiasts have to be thankful for, Dr. Naismith. He, who showed people that a game this big can come from a game so seemingly small then. It’s like looking through the hourglass where sands of time has lost track of the day that has passed. NCAA basketball revitalized the blood of every college individual. Dreamers and supporters alike are the ones who made every event possible. NCAA begins on the month of March. This is usually the time where cheerleaders strut their moves and the best players are molded into persons who will pave the way to get into the NBA or get into the school of their choice. “March Madness”, as they call it, had become a traditional season where colleges from different parts of the United States meet for a chance to get to the top. This wouldn’t all be possible without the help of a few significant people who paved the way for the firsts. First event. First MVP. First team champion. It’s all included in NCAA’s history record. It was stated that the very first NCAA tournament for men’s basketball was held at Northwestern on March 27, 1939. There were only 8 teams that competed against each other coming from 2 different regions. Oregon was the very first to be declared as champions for that event, defeating Ohio State. The NCAA was the king of the basketball arena but not until the 1950’s came. NIT went into the scene and was then considered as the more prestigious event than NCAA. Teams then preferred to play in NIT and choose to skip the NCAA season. Because of this irony, the best teams never met. But either way, some of the best schools choose to enter both tournaments that made playing more interesting. In the 1940’s, Oklahoma A&M won two titles in the NCAA. Those who were defeated in NIT recovered much and gained integrity when they entered the NCAA. While some schools decided to stick with NIT, there are others who lost on their first and second round with NIT and decided to finish the season in the NCAA. A third-place event was added into the game schedule in courtesy with the East region. That was in 1941. The national third-place game was first held in 1946. This lasted until the 1980’s. In comes 1951. This was the year where the expansion of 8 teams were made into 16. Seattle became the site of the semifinal and championship games in 1952. This was also the place where the genuine “final four” was made. 1956 became historical for this year paved the way for the tournament to be divided into regions of four. Thus, the most magnificent and famous games were made. In 1974, NCAA became a tournament with 32 teams. They also allowed more schools to participate in conferences. When 1979 came, it expanded to 40 participating teams. This is the year when Michigan State won national championship against Indiana State. This tournament was one of the most historical events ever accounted for in all of NCAA seasons. Earvin “Magic” Johnson became well known going against Larry Bird. As the expansion follows over the years, in 1985, it had become a 64-team match. The tournament’s popularity reached the corners of the country far and wide. Negotiations from television networks to air the game via satellite speeding through the internet, radio, etc. had been agreed upon.
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