How the Madness Began

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is in full swing and it is time to get excited! Every year we watch in anticipation to see which team will earn the title of National Champion.  But when did this all begin?  Who was the first team to claim this prestigious title?  We did some digging and found the answers for you!

The first NCAA college basketball tournament, which is now known as March Madness, was played in 1939.  That means there have been 72 National Champions so far.  It was organized by the NCAA but actually held by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.  It is said that the idea was originally presented by Ohio State coach Harold Olsen.

The first tournament only had eight teams and was hosted at Patten Gymnasium in Evanston, Illinois.  The first National Champion was the University of Oregon Ducks.  Prior to 1975, only one team per conference we allowed into the tournament.  However, after highly ranked teams such as South Carolina, Southern Cal, and Maryland were not permitted to play, the NCAA began to place highly-ranked teams in the tournament not just the conference winners.  Although there currently are no consolation games, there was a third place game played from 1946-1981.  It was not until 1985 that the NCAA expanded the tournament to include 64 teams and in 2011 they expanded the field again to include 68 teams.

The tradition of cutting down the net after a team has won the National Championship game began in 1947 when the coach of North Carolina State, Everett Case, stood on his players’ shoulders to cut down the net after winning the championship game.  In 1967, the slam dunk was made illegal only to be brought back in 1976.  In 1986, the three-point field goal was introduced with the three-point line set at 19 feet, 9 inches from the center of the basket.

Now for a few fun facts:

Teams with the most NCAA Tournament appearances:

Kentucky (52)
North Carolina (43)
UCLA (42)
Kansas (41)
Louisville (38)

Teams with the most Final Four appearances:

North Carolina (18)
UCLA (18)
Duke (15)
Kentucky (14)
Kansas (13)

Teams with most NCAA Tournament appearances without reaching the Final Four:

BYU (26)
Missouri (24)
Xavier (22)
Utah State (20)
Alabama (19)
Tennessee (19)

Coaches with the most National Championship titles:

John Wooden (10)
Adolph Rupp (4)
Mike Krzyzewski (4)
Jim Calhoun (3)
Bob Knight (3)

Now that you are all brushed up on your NCAA Tournament history get ready to cheer on your team!


I’m reading Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge

17 Facts About Benjamin Franklin You May Not Know

1.) Born on January 17th 1706, he was 84 when he died in 1790.  At that time the average life expectancy was 37.  This would be the equivalent to someone today dying at the age of 125.

2.) At the age of 20 he listed 13 virtues that everyone should live by:

    • Temperance
    • Silence
    • Order
    • Resolution
    • Frugality
    • Industry
    • Sincerity
    • Justice
    • Moderation
    • Cleanliness
    • Tranquility
    • Chastity
    • Humility

3.) Along with the lightning rod, spectacles, the oven, and the battery, he also invented the odometer.  As a postmaster, he wanted to provide fast and efficient service so he created an odometer and attached it to his carriage.  Although he invented all of these things he never held a patent on any of them.  He believed that scientific discoveries should be shared with everyone.

4.) He was a vegetarian for most of the younger years of his life.

5.) Approximately 20,000 people attended his funeral on April 17, 1790. This was an unheard of turnout in those days.

6.) He believed that debt was a form of slavery.  He believed that living without it gave a man a freedom of spirit.  He often spoke of his idea to start a society called The Society of the Free and Easy, meaning free of debt and easy in spirit.

7.) He formed the first public lending library in America.

8.) After dropping out of school at the age of 10, he became a printing apprentice to his brother James at the age of 12.  At the age of 17, Franklin ran away from his apprenticeship becoming a fugitive.  He ended up in Philadelphia working at several printer shops around town.

9.) His father, Josiah Franklin, had two wives and 17 children.  Benjamin was his father’s 15th child and last son

10.) He proposed to his wife Deborah Reed when he was 17 years old and she was 15.  Because she was once married and divorced, Franklin was forced to enter into a common law marriage with her.

11.) His second son, Francis Folger Franklin, died of smallpox at the age of 4.

12.) He was an avid chess player.  He was inducted into the United States Chess Hall of Fame in 1999.

13.) He created the first volunteer fire department in Pennsylvania in 1736 calling it the Union Fire Company.

14.) Although he was called “Doctor” throughout most of his life, he never went to college.  He received honorary doctorate degrees from Harvard and Yale in 1753.

15.) When the Second Continental Congress created the United States Post Office in 1775, it named Franklin the first United States Postmaster General.

16.) Counties in at least 16 different states are named after him.

17.) He first saw his work in print at the age of 16 when he began printing letters in his brother’s newspaper under the alias of a woman names Silence Dogood.  In the letters, she gave advice and was very critical of the world around her.  Finally after publishing 16 letters, Franklin admitted to his brother that it was in fact him writing the letters.