Men's basketball, Utah Utes, 1944 NCAA Basketball Championship or Champion.
A year after creating a national media frenzy with their undefeated season and win over New York University, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) sent two teams to Japan for training exercises that would become known as the "War Games." The winner was decided by tournament play similar to college basketball today. The University of Utah claimed its third national championship in four years by defeating the military team of the University of Kansas, 49-0, at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.
It was the second time that year that an NCAA men's basketball champion was crowned. In January, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen's Act, which provided $20 million in annual compensation for veterans of World War II. The law also included benefits for the families of those who died. The first game under the new format was held on April 2 at Madison Square Garden and was won by Kentucky who defeated Pittsburgh 100-83. The final was played on April 16 with Louisville defeating Cincinnati 92-65 to claim its first title.
This is the only time that has happened since the tournament began in 1939.
Wikimedia Commons has a page dedicated to the 1939 NCAA Basketball Tournament. It includes photographs of the eight teams that competed in the first tournament, along with their records during regular season play.
The first annual NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 4–5, 1939. The University of Dayton went undefeated during the regular season and was awarded the title by default when St. John's refused to play in protest of the use of an ineligible player. The first championship game was also won by the UDterritory team, which outscored its opponents 231-to-33 during the season. The other three teams that made up the field were American University (now American University in Washington, D.C.), Georgetown University (now Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.), and Pennsylvania State University (now Pennsylvania State University).
March Madness started as a simple contest between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Boston College called the "Boston Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament". Each school would put together a team of alumni and students to compete. In 1934, the UMass team was declared winner by default because BC didn't show up for the second round game.
NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament/Teams 40, 1979.
Men's basketball at NC State Wolfpack in 1974 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Basketball Championship/Tournament.
The undefeated NC State Wolfpack men's basketball team has been recognized as the national champion by several organizations, including the Associated Press. The Wolfpack went 16-0 and were awarded their first of four consecutive titles. They defeated the Houston Cougars 72-65 in the final game of the season to clinch the title.
Coach Jim Valvano had a very good year, leading the team to its first undefeated season and also winning the Capital City Conference title. He was named the conference player of the year after he averaged 28 points per game. He finished his career with over 100 wins, which is still a school record today. Valvano died in 1993 at the age of 43 after suffering from cancer. He left behind a legacy that continues to grow even though he was gone too soon.
There are several facts about this win that make it so special. First, it came during what many call "The Comeback Season". After losing their first two games by an average margin of 13 points, the Wolfpack regained their confidence and went on to win 24 games in a row before finishing the season with three more victories.
Bill Russell and the 1956 San Francisco Dons became the first men's collegiate basketball team in NCAA Division I history to go undefeated and win the NCAA tournament national title.
Eight The NCAA Basketball Tournament in 1939 included eight teams competing in single-elimination play for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Although it was run by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) at the time, it was the inaugural NCAA basketball national championship competition. The tournament started with eight teams and ended after two rounds of games were completed. The University of New Mexico Lobos and Pittsburgh Panthers both had 9–3 records, but UNM was given an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by virtue of being a member of the NABC.
In addition to the eight charter members, three more teams were invited to join them in the first year of the tournament: Columbia University, Princeton University, and Yale University. These "at-large" bids were determined by the existing rules that each conference could have only one team in the tournament. Since all four teams belonged to different conferences, this meant that only eight teams would be playing in the first round of the tournament.
The second year of the tournament saw nine teams participate. Again, there were no at-large invites; instead, two additional teams were given seeding spots in the first round of the tournament. These new places were awarded to North Carolina A&T State University and South Carolina State College. Both schools joined other universities' athletic programs and are now known as North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and South Carolina State University, respectively.