Who won March Madness in 2021 and previous years? Full list
The Big Dance is underway for 2022. But who won March Madness last year and who it won every year going all the way back to 1939, the first edition?
Let the madness commence. Last night we tipped off the Big Dance as the Texas Southern Tigers eliminated Texas A&M Corpus Chirsti 76-67 in the opening game of the tournament.
The Tigers will now enter the actual first round of the tournament that will start on Thursday once the rest of the games in the “First Four” round are completed tonight. That means, instead of the needing six wins to lift the National Championship trophy, First Four teams will need seven.
Since the induction of the First Four in 2011, no team has won the title game after being placed in the first phase of the tournament, but VCU in 2011 and UCLA last year made it to the Final Four, but were defeated by Gonzaga in the semifinal.
Gonzaga are still looking for their first National Title this year after making it to the Championship Game for the second time in program history. They fell to the Baylor Bears who won their first National Title in the history of their basketball program.
Jared Butler led the Bears with 22 points and seven assists while MaCio Teague poured in 19 in the 86-70 win over the Zags.
The NCAA Tournament is over 80 years old, and was started by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1939. At that time, just eight teams made it to the tournament. That year, the University of Oregon became the first team to win the title game with their 46-33 win over Ohio State.
The Tournament took the shape we are now familiar with in 1985, when the field was extended to 64 teams. While the first round of the Big Dance still has 64 teams the committee has added to the number of teams that actually qualify for the knock out tourney.
In 2001 there was a single play-in game between two teams that would fight it out to make the round of 64. Ten years later, the NCAA added three more games meaning the tournament would consist of a total of 68 teams, and the First Four would determine the four extra teams that make it to the first round.
Since the induction of the Tournament almost a century ago there have been a handful of colleges that have become household names, synonymous with dominance in the Big Dance. Universities like Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke are reference points in the college basketball ranks, but no team has a tighter stronghold on the NCAA’s crowning achievement than UCLA.
The Bruins had over a decade of dominance over the span of the 60’s and 70’s. From 1964 to 1975 head coach John Wooden led guys like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (then Lew Alcindor) and Bill Walton to 10 titles, winning in every year except 1966 and and 1974.
Since then UCLA has just one National Championship which they won in 1995. Since the Bruins reign of terror ended in the mid 70’s the doors have been opened for other college’s to make their mark in the tournament.
In the last decades, the torch has been passed to UK, UNC and Duke with Kentucky having won the second most titles with eight, with the Tar Heels of North Carolina just behind with six, while Duke and Indiana have five.
Here are all the champions starting from the first tournament in 1939.