?1942 Stanford-Dartmouth, the first true meeting of East and West, the one-handed shot in ascendance.
?1946 Oklahoma A & M- North Carolina, the first time four teams converged at the finals site.
?1951 Kentucky-Kansas State, the first expansion, a doubling of the field to 16 teams, primarily because Adolph Rupp bitched so when his Kentucky team went uninvited in '50.
?1957 and 1963 North Carolina-Kansas and Loyola- Cincinnati, the giant-killing upsets, the audience-enhancing thriller climaxes.
?1966 Texas Western-Kentucky, confirmation of the black player's dominance. "We could all stop counting then," says Al McGuire.
?1969 UCLA-Purdue, the never-before, never-again, third outstanding player award to the great Lew Alcindor.
?1974 North Carolina State- UCLA, the kingdom overthrown.
?1979 Michigan State-Indiana State, Bird-Magic and Ray Meyer to boot.
?1982 North Carolina-Georgetown, 61,612 in heaven right here on earth, the infant Jordan over the infant Ewing, the Dean finally come true.
Still and all, two years, '75 and '80, define the tremendous explosion of interest in the national tournament more accurately than any others. For fully a decade, UCLA had crystallized the event into a David-Goliath confrontation. The Bruins of coach John Wooden were a national entity: a Yankees/Cowboys/Celtics-type target to love or hate but never to neglect. Doubtless, UCLA gave the NCAAs significance and verve. But by the early '70s—in the midst of the school's 10 championships, seven in a row—the tournament seemed to be running in place; it was in danger of losing its allure. Monotony had set in.