It all started 75 years ago, the NCAA crowning its first national basketball champion on the campus of a school that to this day has never been invited to the tournament. But before they get started next week with the 76th  version, here’s a trip down a memory lane, with recollections big and small.

One year ago ...
Welcome to Dunk City. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed in history to make the Sweet 16.

Two years ago ...
The No. 1 ranking finally meant something in March. Kentucky became the first top-ranked champion in 12 seasons.

Kansas head coach Bill Self
Ryan McKee | NCAA Photos
Three years ago ...
For the first time ever, the Final Four came without a No. 1 or 2 seed.

Four years ago ...
Butler was so close to its Final Four site -- six miles -- that the Bulldogs went to class the morning of the national championship game.

Five years ago ...
North Dakota State became the first team from its state to make the NCAA tournament. That leaves Alaska and Maine as the only states still March-less.

Six years ago ...
Kansas became the only national champion from outside the Eastern time zone in the past 16 years.

Seven years ago ...
Florida was the seventh school to repeat as national champion, but the first to do it with the same starting lineup.

Eight years ago ...
No. 11 seed George Mason reached the Final Four, inspiring all future Cinderellas to know it was possible (and good morning to you, Butler).

Nine years ago ...
For the eighth time, the national championship game was No. 1 (Illinois) vs. No. 2 (North Carolina). And for the fourth time in the last five, No. 1 lost.

10 years ago ...
Utah State went 25-3 and did not make the field, the best record for an eligible team ever to fail to get an at-large berth.

11 years ago ...
Syracuse won the national championship by cutting a swath through the Big 12, beating Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State in the bracket.

12 years ago ...
North Carolina missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 28 seasons.

13 years ago ...
Maryland led Duke 39-17 in the first half of the national semifinal, and lost by 11. Biggest comeback in Final Four history.

14 years ago ...
Michigan State won the title; the Big Ten’s only champion in the past 24 seasons.

15 years ago ...
in his 27th season of coaching, Jim Calhoun won his first national championship. Two more titles would come in his next 12.

16 years ago ...
Kentucky’s Tubby Smith won the championship his first year on the job, the last coach to do it.

Arizona's Jason Terry
NCAA Photos
17 years ago ...
Arizona became the only No. 4 seed to win the national championship.

18 years ago ...
Princeton ran one last back door play to knock out defending champion UCLA in the first round.

19 years ago ...
Seattle hosted the most recent Final Four west of the Rockies.

20 years ago ...
Bill Clinton, die-hard Arkansas fan, became the only sitting U.S. President to attend the Final  Four.

21 years ago ...
Michigan’s Chris Webber called the most famous illegal timeout in the history of basketball.

22 years ago ...
Long before the world knew of John Calipari, Michigan showed up in the Final Four with an all-freshman lineup. And trend-setting baggy shorts.

23 years ago ...
Was the last time neither Kentucky nor Louisville were in the NCAA tournament. It’s only happened twice in 48 years.

24 years ago ...
Loyola Marymount averaged 105.8 points in its four games. Michigan put up 115 points in the second round and still managed to lose by 34, because Loyola Marymount had 149. The Lions were eliminated by UNLV in the regional final 131-101.

25 years ago ...
The last one-point national championship game gave Michigan -- and interim coach Steve Fisher -- the title against Seton Hall, 80-79 in overtime.

26 years ago ...
Kansas won the title, the last unranked team to do it.

27 years ago ...
UNLV’s Mark Wade had 18 assists in a 97-93 Final Four loss to Indiana, accounting for more than half of the Rebels’ field goals.

28 years ago ...
Louisville’s Pervis Ellison became the first freshman in 42 years to be named Final Four most outstanding player.

29 years ago ...
Was the poster team for underdogs: No. 8 seed Villanova missed one shot the second half and took down Georgetown to become the lowest-seeded champion ever.

30 years ago ...
Guy Lewis coached his fifth and last Houston Final Four team. Many questioned his work, but the Cougars have not won an NCAA tournament game in the three decades since.

31 years ago ...
Houston’s Akeem Olajuwon was named Final Four most outstanding player, the last time that happened for a member of the losing team.

32 years ago ...
The basketball world met Michael Jordan.

33 years ago ...
Let’s hear it for the late, great consolation third place game. This was the last one, won by Virginia against LSU 78-74.

34 years ago ...
Texas A&M beat North Carolina 78-61, outscoring the Tar Heels 17 points in the second overtime.

1979 Magic vs. Bird
NCAA Photos
35 years ago ...
Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and the highest-rated national championship broadcast to this very day.

36 years ago ...
Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame. This is it, for Irish Final Four trips.

37 years ago ...
A 25-2 Detroit team made the tournament and went 1-1, led by a coach with a gift of gab. Some guy named Dick Vitale.

38 years ago ..
Two -- count ‘em -- two teams with perfect records made the Final Four. Rutgers lost there. Indiana became the seventh -- and still last -- unbeaten national champion. And only the third not named UCLA.

39 years ago ...
Just after a national semifinal victory, John Wooden let slip the championship game would be his last. He won it, of course.

40 years ago ...
NC State was the last one-loss team to win the national championship. Strange, it’s been longer than the last unbeaten.

41 years ago ...
Bill Walton took 22 shots for UCLA against Memphis in the national championship game. He missed one.

42 years ago ...
UCLA arguably had the most dominating season ever seen. The 30-0 Bruins had an average winning margin of 30.3, and only two of 30 opponents lost by single digits.

43 years ago ...
USC went 24-2, with its only defeats against national champion UCLA. But per the rules limiting each conference to one team, the Trojans were not in the NCAA Tournament.

44 years ago ...
Notre Dame’s Austin Carr averaged 52.3 points in three NCAA Tournament games, including 61 against Ohio.

45 years ago ...
UCLA pulled off the NCAA’s first threepeat. Lew Alcindor graduated. Coaches everywhere celebrated.

46 years ago ...
Houston was No. 1, UCLA No. 2. They met during the season and Houston won by two points. They met in the Final Four and UCLA won 101-69.

47 years ago ...
A coach named Dean Smith showed up at the Final Four for the first time with his North Carolina team, and something called the four-corners offense.

48 years ago ...
Texas Western vs. Kentucky. Five African-American starters for the Miners. You know the rest.

49 years ago ...
Bill Bradley scored 58 points in the third-place game for Princeton, a Final Four record that has never been challenged.

50 years ago ...
The dawn of the Wooden Dynasty.

51 years ago ...
Loyola of Chicago went overtime to upset Cincinnati for the national championship, and all five Rambler starters played every minute.

52 years ago ...
Yale’s last NCAA tournament appearance. So imagine the annoyance this season of seeing Harvard go for the third consecutive year.

53 years ago ...
Cincinnati vs. Ohio State, the first (and with their rematch in 1962, only) national championship games between two teams from the same state.

Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson
Rich Clarkson | NCAA Photos
54 years ago ...
Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson had his third and fourth NCAA tournament triple doubles. Of the 16 recorded in tournament history, Robertson accounted for a quarter of them.

55 years ago ...
California took the national championship, but the kid scoring all the points for runner-up West Virginia got a lot of attention. Jerry West.

56 years ago ...
Kentucky won the championship without a single All-American. Adolph Rupp called them “fiddlers” rather than violinists.

57 years ago ...
North Carolina had to go three overtimes to beat Michigan State in the national semifinals, and three more overtimes the next night to beat Kansas for the title.

58 years ago ...
Temple’s Fred Cohen pulled down 34 rebounds in a regional semifinal win against Connecticut.

59 years ago ...
Marquette beat Kentucky 79-71 in the first of their 10 NCAA tournament meetings, the most between any two teams.

60 years ago ...
USC went to the Final Four. The athletic program that has produced 95 men’s national championships in other sports has not been back since.

61 years ago ...
A rule passed preventing a team from playing in the NCAA and NIT. That meant CCNY of 1950 would forever be the only school to win both the same year.

62 years ago ...
Four regionals were created, which fed into one site. The first true Final Four.

63 years ago ...
The tournament doubled from eight teams, and a good thing. You can’t have a Sweet 16 without 16 teams.

64 years ago ...
UCLA made its first tournament appearance with a young coach named John Wooden. He lost, but maybe he’d be back one day.

65 years ago ...
The championship game matched Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp and Oklahoma State’s Henry Iba. Now, both schools’ arenas are named after them.

66 years ago ...
The birth of a nation. Wildcat Nation. Kentucky’s first national championship.

67 years ago ...
Holy Cross won the title, then slid off the radar screen. Its last NCAA tournament victory was 1953.

68 years ago ...
Oklahoma State became the first repeat champion.

69 years ago ...
Since 309 schools have played in the NCAA tournament, there are some pretty obscure one-and-doners. This, for example, was the only appearance by Tufts.

70 years ago ...
The eight teams in the field combined to make only 53.6 percent of their free throw attempts, the worst in the history of the tournament.

71 years ago ...
Ray Meyer coached DePaul to the national semifinal. It took him 36 years to get back.

72 years ago ...
The first tournament for the Kentucky Wildcats. Only 18 times in the next 71 years would the event go on without them.

73 years ago ...
Pittsburgh 26, North Carolina 20. That’s not a third quarter ACC football result, but what remains the lowest-scoring game in NCAA tournament history.

74 years ago ...
Only 10 years after graduating from Indiana, Branch McCracken coached the Hoosiers to the title. At 31, he remains the youngest championship coach.

And finally, 75 years ago ...
A crowd of 5,500 showed up in Evanston to watch Oregon beat Oho State 46-33 for the first championship. Northwestern was a fine host. Seventy-five years later, the Wildcats are still waiting to be invited to the party they helped start.