NCAA Men's Basketball

NCAA men's basketball has a long and proud history. March Madness, the nickname given to the 65 team play off tournament that pits the best college basketball teams in the country against one another in a bracket style tournament to determine which division one basketball team will be considered the best in the country, and be crowned national champions.

The first NCAA men's basketball tournament was held in 1939, with only eight teams completing from two regions – a far cry from the much larger scale of today's March Madness tournaments. Oregon eventually defeated Ohio State in the championship game. The NIT tournament, which is now considered an afterthought of NCAA men's basketball, but once it was considered as a true rival to the NCAA tournament, and until the 1950s many teams actually considered the NIT as the more prestigious of the two, and some teams would only play NIT, while others would play both.

In 1951 the tournament expanded from eight teams to sixteen, and in 1956 the teams were divided into four regions instead of two, keeping up the regional tradition that still exists in NCAA Men's Basketball to this day. Probably the most dominant run in NCAA basketball history, and one that will never be repeated, is when hall of fame coach John Wooden, starting in 1962, created a powerhouse UCLA tea that made 13 final four appearances over 15 years, including an incredible run of national titles.

In 1973 UCLA won its seventh straight championship, another record that would never be broken. In 1975 the field was expanded again to 32 teams, and it has doubled again since then. NCAA Men's Basketball has a long and storied tradition, one that will only grow as the years and games continue.