BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
In a few weeks, the NCAA Basketball Tournament will begin. The tournament started in 1939.
Ohio State Coach Harold Olsen came up with idea. From 1939-50 eight teams played and there were no byes.
From 1951-52, the tournament was expanded to 16 teams. From 1953-1968, the tournament was expanded to 22-25 teams with 7-10 byes.
UCLA won four national championships 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968. Then from 1969-1974, the tournament was expanded to 25 teams with seven byes. UCLA won five national championships in a row, during that time.
In 1974, North Carolina State won the national championship. From 1975-1978, there were 32 teams and there were no byes.
1975 was Coach John Wooden’s last national championship at UCLA.
In 1978, Kentucky coached by Joe B. Hall won the national championship. In 1979 there were 40 teams with 24 byes. Michigan State, with Magic Johnson, beat Indiana State, with Larry Bird, won the national championship.
From 1980-82 there were 48 teams with 16 byes. 1983 was the first year of play-in games with 52 teams with 16 byes.
In 1984, there were 53 teams with 16 byes and played in five brackets. From 1985-2000 there were 64 teams in the tournament with no byes.
From 2011 to the present there are 68 teams with four play in teams. The NCCA Basketball Tournament has grown over the years.
Now offices and sport talk shows have bracket contests. The next three weeks will be fun.