College Basketball Milestones

College Basketball Milestones

Basketball is​ a​ favorite pastime of​ kids and adults alike. American kids grow up with dreams of​ earning scholarships and reaching fame in​ the college league.

Basketball owes its origin to​ Dr. James Naismith, who invented the sport in​ 1892. Before long, the popularity of​ the game caught on and it​ was being played in​ American colleges. The first official game involving a​ college team was played between Geneva College and the New Brighton YMCA in​ Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on April 8, 1893. On February 9, 1895, the first intercollegiate game was played between the Minnesota State School of​ Agriculture and Hamline College. Minnesota won that game, 9 to​ 3.

The introduction of​ the five-player format was the next major college basketball milestone. This happened during an​ intercollegiate game in​ Iowa City on January 18, 1896. By the early 1900s, the basketball was being played in​ ninety colleges, mostly in​ the East and Midwest. This number continued to​ swell, and by 1914 as​ many as​ 360 colleges were playing college basketball.

In 1915, the Amateur Athletic Union of​ the United States, the NCAA and the YMCA banded together to​ streamline the game. a​ committee was organized to​ frame rules and during this time, a​ number of​ regional conferences were formed.

The first NCAA Men's College Basketball Championship tournament was organized by the National Association of​ Basketball Coaches and held in​ Evanston in​ 1939. a​ crowd of​ 5,500 cheering basketball fans watched the University of​ Oregon with the game. After this, the NCAA took over the national basketball championship tournament, and another college basketball milestone was realized.

In 1940, college basketball made it​ to​ the small screen. The first televised college game was played between Pittsburgh and Fordham at​ Madison Square Garden. This was the beginning of​ a​ national obsession with basketball and since then, the game has drawn huge crowds. The most-watched event in​ the United States is​ March Madness, when nearly 350 American colleges come together to​ compete for the NCAA basketball crown.

The NCAA tournament had relatively humble beginnings, with just eight teams competing against each other representing each of​ the eight NCAA districts. in​ 1951 the number of​ teams doubled to​ sixteen. in​ this format, ten conference champions qualified automatically, while the remaining six teams were chosen on the basis of​ their performance. in​ 1954, the number of​ teams went up to​ 24, and a​ 32-team bracket was adopted in​ 1975. Further increases saw the number of​ teams jump to​ 48 in​ 1980, and to​ 64 in​ 1985.

Over the years, college basketball has gone through remarkable changes. Many players have showcased their talents on campus courts and risen to​ become basketball superstars, and most NBA stars trace their origins to​ college basketball.

More than 120 years after it​ was first invented, the game of​ basketball is​ more popular than ever. Who knows what college basketball milestones lay ahead?

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