The magic of 9
Those end-of-the-decade championship games, there’s something about them:
1939: Oregon wins the very first Final Four.
1949: Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) vs. Henry Iba (Oklahoma A&M). Rupp wins.
1959: Cal 71, West Virginia 70. Jerry West had 28 points, 11 rebounds for the losers and was tournament MVP.
1969: UCLA wins first televised final on NBC. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar): 37 points, 20 rebounds.
1979: Magic over Larry, still the most watched final ever.
1989: Michigan fires Bill Frieder before the tournament, wins title with Steve Fisher on the bench.
1999: UConn, in its first Final Four and a heavy underdog, ends Duke’s 32-game winning streak.
2009: North Carolina scores 55 points in first half and douses Michigan State’s hopes of winning title in Detroit.
2019: Two first-time finalists duke it out at U.S. Bank Stadium. Virginia wins in overtime.