The NCAA men’s basketball tournament was first hosted in 1939, and has been played a total of 81 times through 2020. That’s a lot of history. 

Marv Huffman (34) was named most outstanding player for 1940. The Hoosiers defeated Kansas, 60-42, for the NCAA title in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 

Wisconsin’s team photo.

NCAA Archives

 

A team photo

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Wyoming beat Georgetown for the NCAA title in Madison Square Garden.

NCAA Archives

 

Utah and coach Vadal Peterson beat Dartmouth 42-40 in overtime to claim the program’s first (and only) title.

NCAA Archives

 

Oklahoma State’s Henry Iba gives a chalk talk to his 1946 NCAA Champions.

 

George Kaftan of Holy Cross is carried off the court after defeating Oklahoma, 58-47, for the title.

 

Fans celebrate UK’s championship with a street parade. Kentucky defeated Baylor 58-42.

 

Kentucky defeated Oklahoma State, 46-36, in 1949.

 

A program from the finals.

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Kentucky’s 7-foot center Bill Spivey scored 22 points in the title game

University of Kentucky/UK Athletics

Kansas head coach Phog Allen gives MVP Clyde Lovellette a hand shake for a job well done in the 1952 Championship game at Seattle, WA. Kansas beat St. John’s for the title 80-63.

 

Indiana coach Branch McCracken argues with the scorer over the amount of fouls on Kansas center B.H. Born during the title game held in Kansas City, MO. at the Municipal Auditorium. Indiana defeated Kansas 69-68 to win the title.

 

La Salle’s Tom Gola was named the tournament’s most outstanding player in 1954.

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Bill Russell gets a ride off the court after San Francisco won the 1955 title game.

 

San Francisco beat Iowa in 1956 to win consecutive titles.
NCAA Archives

Undefeated North Carolina held off Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas in triple overtime.

NCAA Archives

 

The photo corps at the 1958 title game in Louisville at Freedom Hall.

 

California coach Pete Newell rides on the shoulders of this team after defeating West Virginia 71-70.

 

The Buckeyes celebrate winning the championship.

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Cincinnati coach Ed Jucker celebrates after the Bearcats beat Ohio State in the 1961 title game.
NCAA Archives

 

George Ireland and Loyola Chicago beat Cincinnati for the program’s only national championship.

 

UCLA coach John Wooden and his championship team after winning their first NCAA basketball title.

 

UCLA’s Gail Goodrich (center) and teammates run on to the court after the victory.

 

Texas Western beat Kentucky at the 1966 NCAA Championship.

 

A UCLA team member tears down the net following UCLA defeating Dayton 79-64 for the national title.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar skies during the 1968 Final Four.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his father.

 

UCLA defeated Jacksonville, 80-69.

 

UCLA forward Curtis Rowe (left) coach John Wooden and forward Sidney Wicks at the Astrodome.

NCAA Archives

 

UCLA’s Bill Walton (center) led the Bruins to the national title in Los Angeles at the Sports Arena.

 

UCLA coach John Wooden talks to his team at the Final Four. The Bruins beat Memphis State to win another championship.

 

North Carolina State defeated Marquette for the national crown in 1974.

 

UCLA returned to the top after a year off.

 

The Hoosiers finished a perfect season over Michigan in the national championship game.

 

Marquette Athletics

 

Kentucky won the national championship game against Duke.

 

Young Earvin “Magic” Johnson throws it down en route to a Sparty championship.

NCAA Archives

 

Darrell Griffith, AKA Dr. Dunkenstein, rides the wave of Louisville’s national title victory.

NCAA Archives

 

Indiana’s Isiah Thomas led IU to a national championship.

NCAA Archives

 

 

North Carolina won the national championship in 1992 with Michael Jordan (23) in tow.

NCAA Archives

 

North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Charles (43) jams the ball in the hoop while Houston’s Akeem Olajuwon (34) watches.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Patrick Ewing (33) celebrates against Houston. 

NCAA Archives

 

Rollie Massimino cuts the nets after Villanova, the only 8-seed ever to win in a 64-team tournament, shocked Georgetown.

NCAA Archives

 

Louisville became the first team from outside a power conference to win the championship since the expansion to 64 teams.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Keith Smart (23) of Indiana puts up a shot past Rony Seikaly (4) of Syracuse.

NCAA Archives

 

Danny Manning led KU national championship against conference rival Oklahoma.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Michigan rushes on the floor after winning against Seton Hall in the final.

NCAA Archives

 

Jerry Tarkanian’s Runnin’ Rebels crushed Duke to take the 1990 national championship.
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Duke stunned UNLV in 1991 and would go on to win back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992.

NCAA Archives

 

UNC fans in full Final Four mode at the 1993 national championship game.

NCAA Archives

 

The Razorbacks celebrate their most recent national championship.

NCAA Archives

 

 

UCLA won the 1995 title by defeating defending national champion Arkansas.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Kentucky beat Syracuse to earn the ’96 championship.

NCAA Archives

 

Arizona Wildcats, national champions — even the mascot.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Kentucky topped Utah in the Utes’ first Final Four appearance since 1966.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Elation after UConn won the 1999 national championship.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Michigan State celebrates with a win against Florida for the national championship.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Shane Battier helped to lead  Duke to a national championship.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Maryland’s 2002 national championship win was just peachy.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Carmelo Anthony’s season at Syracuse left an unforgettable mark.

NCAA Archives

 

 

The Huskies topped Georgia Tech team to win the title

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Sean May’s Tar Heels claimed the national title in 2005.

NCAA Archives

 

 

The Gators made it two straight.

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Kansas rallied against Memphis to force OT in an eventual win.

NCAA Archives

 

Ty Lawson waves to fans after cutting down the net following the championship game.

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Duke won, but Butler’s Gordon Hayward nearly made the greatest shot in tournament history.

NCAA Archives

 

 

The maelstrom after the Huskies’ improbable run ended in glory.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Anthony Davis goes for a national championship-worthy block.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Air time in Louisville’s Final Four win over Wichita State.

NCAA Archives

 

 

The Huskies won the 2014 National Championship by defeating Kentucky.

NCAA Archives

 

 

Duke players pile up after winning the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship game.

NCAA Archives

 

Villanova players celebrate after Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win the national championship.

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UNC senior Kennedy Meeks and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss go up for the rebound.

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2018 – Villanova (36-4)

Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo (10) scored 31 points off the bench to win MOP, and help the Wildcats secure the title for the second time in three years.

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2019 – Virginia (35-3)

One year after Virginia became the first team to lose to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Cavaliers wrote a new ending to their story with their first national championship as they defeated Texas Tech in overtime.

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2020 

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The COVID-19 pandemic caused arenas across the nation to empty, including Bankers Life Fieldhouse (seen above), which played host to the canceled Big Ten tournament. As a result, the 2020 NCAA tournament was canceled.
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2021 – Baylor (28-2)

The Bears won their first national title, denying Gonzaga a perfect season with the 86-70 win. Baylor won all of its NCAA tournament games by double digits except one — a nine-point win against No. 3 Arkansas in the Elite Eight.

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