Here's What the First-Ever NCAA Tournament Looked Like
Before billion dollar brackets and 100,000-seat arenas, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament was a simple, 8-team affair. The annual event, which started in 1939, wasn't even the most important college basketball tournament in the country—the NIT, which was established by a group of sportswriters in 1938, featured the more marquee teams and dominated March for decades.
Oregon beat Ohio State in that first NCAA tournament championship, 46-33. Below is footage from that game, as well as video from Oregon's semifinal matchup with Oklahoma:
This wasn't exactly Showtime Lakers vs. Jordan's Bulls. There was no three-point line, no shot clock, and no goaltending (not that there was enough above-the-rim action to produce goaltending). But like the game itself, the tournament has evolved so much that it's almost unrecognizable—although Oregon's Bobby Anet had a crossover that could break modern-day ankles.